City of Vancouver suspends business licences of Corduroy and Gusto restaurants for violating public health order

It came after they deliberately violated Dr. Bonnie Henry's order to end dine-in service

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      Two Vancouver restaurants are spending time in the penalty box for disrespecting an order from Dr. Bonnie Henry.

      That's because today, the City of Vancouver imposed temporary business-licence suspensions on Corduroy and Gusto restaurants, which each remained open for dine-in service last week.

      This was despite the provincial health officer's order not to do so in the face of rising COVID-19 counts.

      They only closed after being visited by public-health officials.

      As a result of the city's action, these two restaurants cannot serve customers until April 20, which is the day after Henry's order expires.

      "I think the whole country was aghast at the behaviour of these restaurant owners who openly defied public health orders in the face of rising case counts and the spread of variants," Mayor Kennedy Stewart said.

      He also stated that the "harassment and bullying public health officials experienced" (while visiting Corduroy) "is completely unacceptable".

      Video: Watch bylaw officers being jeered by customers at Corduroy Restaurant.

      Gusto owner Federico Fuoco and Corduroy owner Rebecca Matthews both spoke at a small business rally in downtown Vancouver on April 2. Some of the organizers later went to Corduroy to celebrate, live broadcasting their comments on Facebook.

      The two restaurant owners' decision to remain open after being told not to led to a scathing denunciation from the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

      Stewart's statement today noted that the hospitality industry "has done an exceptional job at keeping their workers and customers safe".

      "I want to recognize those that have continued to follow public health orders," Stewart said.

      The owner of Gusto, Federico Fuoco, is a director of the NPA. He's one of several plaintiffs suing Stewart for defamation in connection with comments he made earlier this year about the NPA board of directors.

      The Olympic Village restaurant Gusto and Corduroy near Kitsilano Beach have both been forced to close temporarily for spurning a public health order.