Calgary

Calgary coffee shop ordered to close its patio by Alberta Health Services

A Calgary coffee shop must close public access to its patio and dine-in services, Alberta Health Services says.

Purple Perk owner denies that customers were sitting on patio with cups from the coffee shop

Alberta Health Services said customers were sitting on the patio of The Purple Perk in Mission with Purple Perk cups this week. (Anis Robert Heydari/CBC)

A Calgary coffee shop must close public access to its patio and dine-in services after violating rules surrounding COVID-19, Alberta Health Services says.

The coffee shop's owner had previously been warned about crowds on the patio, and had been criticized after sending a Hitler meme to a doctor who expressed her concerns.

According to the AHS notice, customers were sitting on the patio of Purple Perk, a cafe on Fourth Street in the southwest community of Mission, consuming beverages in Purple Perk cups.

Purple Perk owner Paul Overholt disputes that, calling it a "total lie."

"There were no people sitting on the patio, none. This is people standing on the street. This has nothing to do with Purple Perk," Overholt said. "This is people having a coffee, talking to each other, most of them are respecting social distancing."

The notice, posted online by AHS, orders Purple Perk to immediately close public access to dine-in and patio services until it rescinds the order.

Overholt said some customers brought their own lawn chairs and sat out on the curb's edge on the street, but said it had nothing to do with the coffee shop.

Owner had sent Hitler meme to doctor

The Mission coffee shop recently faced criticism after Overholt sent a Hitler meme to a doctor who had criticized the shop's crowded patio.

The Purple Perk coffee shop in the southwest community of Mission sent a local doctor this meme after she wrote an email encouraging the cafe to enforce physical distancing. (Twitter/Crackmacs)

Overholt previously told CBC News that he sent the meme to the doctor while he was tired and angry, saying he felt as though he was harassed. 

After the new order from AHS was levied against Purple Perk, Overholt said the business was doing everything it was supposed to amidst the pandemic — but added that "the emperor has no clothes."

"I'm sorry, I'm siding with the scientists on this one. You want to isolate, you want to wear a mask, you want to wear gloves, do whatever you want to do," he said. "Doesn't matter, a year from now, people that did do this, did those precautions, didn't do those precautions, in whatever countries, the numbers are all going to be the same."

Some experts have called for the widespread use of masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, suggesting it may be key to controlling outbreaks.

This week, AHS also issued a closure notice to a home-based hair salon and a home-based food service.

About the Author

Joel joined CBC Calgary in 2019. Reach him by email at joel.dryden@cbc.ca

With files from Meghan Grant

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