PEI

Summerside restaurant closes indefinitely in response to COVID-19

South Central Kitchen and Provisions owner and operator Dan Kutcher said he thinks it was the right decision, even though it wasn't an easy one to make. 

'Our primary factor in making this decision is the health and well-being of our community'

Dan Kutcher, the owner of South Central Kitchen and Provisions, said it wasn't an easy decision to make.  (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

A Summerside restaurant has decided to close indefinitely as a precautionary step in response to COVID-19.

South Central Kitchen and Provisions owner and operator Dan Kutcher said he thinks it was the right decision, even though it wasn't an easy one to make. 

"We did it primarily to ensure that we reduce the possibility of transmission from a prevention perspective," he said.

"This place is too busy, there are too many people crossing paths with each other. We did it to protect our staff because some of them have vulnerable members in their family at home."

South Central Kitchen and Provisions has been open for a little over two years, and Kutcher said it serves close to 150 people daily.

There's a lot of people here that rely on their work here- Robert Gallant, owner of Michael's Pizzeria

He said the cost to shut down his restaurant will be significant, but said that's not a priority right now.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we're closed for up to three months," he said.

"Our primary factor in making this decision is the health and well-being of our community."

No confirmed cases

Robert Gallant owns Michael's Pizzeria located across the street from South Central Kitchen and Provisions.

As of Friday, South Central Kitchen and Provisions was only offering takeout orders before closing indefinitely. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

He said he thinks Kutcher's decision to close is a "little panicked," but said he would close his business if the province directed him to.

"Until I get that kind of word, we'll try to stay open and do the best that we can," he said.

"There's a lot of people here that rely on their work here."

Gallant said staff have taken extra measures to make sure the restaurant is cleaned and properly sanitized.

P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison has not made any announcements regarding restaurant closures.

At a press conference Friday, Morrison said government is not yet restricting public gatherings. But she said when it comes to public events, Islanders should reconsider putting themselves in a situation where they cannot keep a two-metre distance from the people around them.

P.E.I. has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday evening.

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