Montreal restaurant plans to reopen in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions – Montreal
The manager of Kesté Pizzeria has had enough of the COVID-19 lockdown.
He plans to reopen his restaurant to full service for clients on Jan. 30, despite the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions that prohibit restaurants from reopening.
“Sometimes you can’t follow every single rule,” Luigi Esposito, manager of Kesté Pizzeria, told Global News.
His restaurant, like many others in Quebec, has been closed for most of the last 22 months due to strict sanitation measures imposed by the government to try and contain the spread of COVID-19.
But Esposito’s patience is running out.
“We’ve been patient and it hasn’t worked out. It’s time to change that,” he said.
The Kesté Facebook page has been lighting up with reaction, with many people commenting in favour of the planned Jan. 30 reopening.
However, Health Minister Christian Dubé on Thursday warned the restaurant owner and business owners to refrain from opening before they’re legally permitted.
“I would just ask this restaurant owner and all other merchants to be patient. I know it’s difficult,” Dubé said.
Esposito says he will have plexiglass in place separating tables, but he plans to open at full capacity and will not require proof of vaccinations.
“If we do lose our liquor permit, if we do get hit with heavy fines obviously, it’s not something we want, it’s not something we’re looking forward to, but if it happens, it happens,” Esposito said.
A spokesperson for the Quebec Restaurant Association argues Esposito and clients eating there expose themselves to liabilities.
“Customers themselves will be subject to fines and maybe an order to close down the shop,” Martin Vézina told Global News.
Vézina is calling on the government to allow restaurants to reopen by Jan. 31 but Esposito isn’t waiting that long, with plans to start serving customers on Jan. 30.
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