Crown and Anchor Pub & Grill in north Edmonton given closure order by AHS

A local restaurant tried to keep its indoor dining open to the public despite current public health restrictions.

Under current restrictions, only patio service and take-out are permitted because of rising COVID-19 cases. Indoor dining was to end Friday at noon.

Terry and Theresa Shaw, owners of The Crown and Anchor Pub & Grill in Edmonton said in an interview with CTV News Edmonton on Saturday, that they will remain open for indoor dining.

They say it’s a matter of keeping the doors open to survive or going out of business.

“We are doing this because our staff cannot do another lockdown,” Theresa said. “They have just used all their money and savings and everything on the first two lockdowns. They cannot go for another lockdown.”

Terry told CTV News Edmonton that the decision to stay open for indoor dining was difficult.

“My wife and I, we sat down for three days on and off and talked about this,” Terry said.

“It’s not productive, we can’t do it. This is our livelihood. We have the right to make a moderate livelihood. Just like everybody else.

“If we go under, so do seven employees and we’re not going to do that again.”

Theresa added: “We aren’t making anything, we are just surviving.”

The couple believe the government supports available from the federal and provincial governments are just not enough to cover costs while under public health restrictions.

The Shaws said they are following every other restriction in place including sanitizing tables, face-masking, and taking contact information for contact tracing.

“We are doing exactly what they want us to, but we cannot survive and most little businesses cannot survive another shutdown,” Theresa said.

The couple said they were “busy” as they served many customers Saturday, and people from outside Edmonton even came in to support the restaurant remaining open.

In a notice posted on their door and Facebook page, Theresa and Terry said that they understand the government has a “duty” to respond to the pandemic.

“We made this decision (to stay open) not in defiance, but to be in line with what forms the foundation of this great province,” they said. “We are standing up for our staff, for the people of Alberta, and for our families.”

“We are simply trying to make an honest living and do not make this decision lightly.”

AHS ISSUES CLOSURE ORDER TO CEASE DINE-IN SERVICES

In a statement to CTV News Edmonton late Saturday evening, Alberta Health Services (AHS) said public health staff conducted a site visit at the Crown and Anchor Saturday afternoon.

Officials say a closure order has been issued by AHS to cease dine-in services.

"The risks posed by people and businesses choosing to defy public health orders are very real, particularly given the rise in cases involving more contagious variants," AHS said. 

"AHS always seeks to work collaboratively with Albertans to ensure compliance with Chief Medical Officer of Health orders and COVID-19 restrictions. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action. We continue to strongly urge everyone to follow the public health restrictions."

On Sunday, the Shaws placed a notice on the restaurant's door saying they are closed due to threats being levelled against them and their staff.

No mention of the closure order was made in the notice.

"We cannot have what has happened to a staff member before happen again."

A server in December took a glass to the face after reminding a customer about the mandatory mask bylaw.