The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)

Penticton restaurants reeling under new restrictions

Staff hours being cut, food already ordered as the province pauses indoor dining until April 19

The Penticton Chamber is urging the province to consider regional restrictions rather than penalizing the entire province.

The board of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is concerned with Monday’s announcement of further restrictions due to the uptick of COVID-19 cases, mainly in the Fraser Health region.

“Although we understand that case counts are rising in some areas of the province, Interior Health and Penticton, in particular, are not seeing case counts like they are in Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health,” said Nicole Clark, past president and chair of the Advocacy Committee.

“This is a real blow to our restaurant industry and their employees. Like everyone, they have had to find a way to operate safely and are doing so.”

“This latest announcement could mean the end for some of our businesses who are struggling to stay afloat. These consequences outweigh the risk given how hard restaurant owners and employees are working to keep everyone safe.”

Restaurants across B.C. and in Penticton were given no notice that the province would be pausing indoor dining as of midnight Monday, March 29 carrying through to April 19.

For Elma Restaurant, a fairly new upscale Turkish restaurant on Lakeshore Drive, the restrictions hit hard.

“These new restrictions are definitely yet another blow to the restaurant industry. It has already been a very challenging year made more difficult in the past four months with the core bubble ban when dining out,” said Elma owner Ayse Barluk.

“For us specifically, today’s (March 29) unexpected regulation means yet another challenging revaluation of our business model and staffing over the next three weeks, maybe even longer.

“Not to mention the fact that we have standing food orders and inventory that will potentially go to waste, as well as staff schedules that ultimately need to be cancelled because the government and health officials have yet again failed to give us ample notice to deal with these issues.”

One thing that has gone right through this pandemic, is the support of the community, said Barluk.

Elma will be offering take-out during limited hours while they come up with a game plan.

The Barley Mill is one of the places that had planned on cooking up an Easter dinner.

“Easter dinner could have been enjoyed in our Barley Mill home, but instead, I believe many people will be inviting guests into their own homes,” said Kori Wyborn, marketing manager for Barley Mill.

One saving grace from the province’s announcement is that patios can remain open.

“Our patio plans to be open this Friday or Saturday after our new roof is complete. We feel lucky that we have one of the biggest patios in town, with some heaters in place.

However, for restaurant staff, the new restrictions offered a devastating blow, as shifts will be cut down or cut out altogether.

La Casa Ouzeria co-owner Lia Portalaki said the new restrictions will be hard on staffing and guests.

“We are not ready to set up patio so it really does hurt. Loss of revenue, waste of inventory and loss of wages for our staff. It feels like we just went backwards. But we are going to get past these three weeks as we got past 2020.

“We are going to make the best of delivery and takeout. And even personally delivery to our customers as we miss them. They are a big part of what makes us La Casa Ouzeria.”

For Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina, they are gearing up to have their patio ready for the weekend.

“Thankfully we already have systems in place and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel as we did a year ago,” said cafe owner Kirsten (Fergy) Ferguson.

She also offers a gentle reminder to everyone.

“Whether you are moved to contest the government’s decisions, protest or be safety compliant, remember that us little guys have rules to follow to remain open and ask you all to be patient with us while we move through these new restrictions,” said Ferguson.

READ MORE: BC stops indoor dining, church service, group fitness, travel

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Younger Princeton residents are now being urged to register for a vaccination notification. (Black Press Media photo)
Princeton lags behind in vaccination rates

Approximately 24 per cent of residents here have received their first dose

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

A Mountie issued B.C. RCMP’s first ticket for non-essential travel May 1. (Black Press Media files)
Driver ticketed, told to ‘return to Lower Mainland immediately’ by Vancouver Island police

The motorist was originally pulled over for driving-related offences May 1

Children walk back to their classroom while wearing masks and physical distancing at St. Barnabas Catholic School in Scarborough, Ont., in October, 2020. A group of B.C. teachers has issued an open letter calling for the relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions for children in B.C. schools. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
Group of B.C. teachers calls for easing of pandemic measures for students

Teacher group says ‘response to COVID is out of balance to the cost our youth are paying’

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

Adam Hamdan has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorist charges given temporary residence in Canada

Adam Hamdan had been facing deportation to Jordan, where he holds citizenship through his Palestinian parents

Lumber is shown in the back of a van in this recent image provided by the Saskatoon Police Service. The skyrocketing prices for lumber is fuelling a trend that has authorities across the country warning builders to keep their guard up. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Saskatoon Police Service-Const. Derek Chesney *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It is a gold mine:’ Builders warned of rising lumber thefts across Canada

Many North American mills curtailed production temporarily earlier in 2020 because of COVID lockdowns

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP officers helped return Chocnut, a stolen Pomeranian, to his family on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (RCMP photo)
Vernon police track down dog thief, return Pomeranian to owners

‘People often ask what the best part of being a police officer is. Well, this is it, helping people’

Most Read