'Full closure' order issued to Vancouver restaurant after defying COVID-19 indoor dining ban, say police

Corduroy restaurant has been ordered to shut down, say police.

The restaurant served customers indoors, on both Friday and Saturday, in contravention of the province’s COVID-19 restriction banning indoor dining.

Vancouver police say they visited Corduroy restaurant on Saturday evening, along with provincial health officers.

In a video posted to social media, the restaurant could be seen serving customers indoors on Friday evening. The owner appears in the video, talking with customers and breaking social distancing while not wearing a mask. 

Cst. Tania Visintin, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Police Department says health officers, along with the force’s liquor coordinator went to the restaurant on Saturday in response to several complaints they had received throughout the day.

“The PHO has issued the restaurant a full closure,” reads Visintin’s statement, sent to CTV News Vancouver on Sunday morning.

Police say they neither fined nor arrested anyone at the restaurant.

“The Provincial Health authorities will seek further action as they see fit,” continues the statement. “We will continue to assist under their direction.”

In an Instagram post on Sunday, the morning after police say the closure was ordered, the restaurant characterized the last two days as “a roller coaster” and said it had decided to close for two days. It made no comment of a closure order from authorities.

“We appreciate all the support...and understand the backlash,” it reads.

“We have sold out of food and decided to close tonight and tomorrow to celebrate Easter with our little fam. Back open Tuesday…” it continues.

Earlier in the week, on Friday, the owner of Corduroy, Rebecca Matthews, spoke at a rally in support of small businesses that were against the closure order and vowed to open her doors that day at 4 p.m. In a video of the event posted to the restaurant’s social media, Matthews can be seen not wearing a mask and hugging a friend.

Restaurants in violation of the current public health orders can be fined $2,300 for each day they are in non-compliance. B.C.’s Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the penalties can get even tougher.

“They could lose their liquor licence, they could lose their business licence, they could face additional charges that may well be under the criminal code, which could result in one year in jail and a $10,000 fine,” said Farnworth.

CTV News Vancouver has reached out to the provincial health ministry and the restaurant for further comment.