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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Old English design elements can be seen in the sign of the Summerland Farm and Garden Centre in 1993. The guidelines are no longer in place, but some downtown businesses still show aspects of the days when Summerland had a theme in place. This photo was taken by Summerland photographer Dan Dorotich. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Summerland’s Old English theme has been abandoned

From the 1980s until the early 2000s, Summerland had design guidelines in its downtown

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Through their Simple Generosity campaign, Valley First has pledged to donate $1 million of community support to British Columbia communities in 2021. (Contributed)
Valley First rewarding Penticton families with innovative way to thrive together

Participants with ‘inspiring ideas’ will receive a surprise for their family, valued at up to $2,500

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Ryan Upson’s first BCHL hat-trick propelled the Vees to a 7-1 stomping of the Cranbrook Bucks Thursday April 16) night to improve their record to 7-1-0-0 in this abbreviated pod season. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Pentiton Vees bounce back with big win over Bucks

Vees score five in under five minutes, win 7-1 over Cranbrook

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

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)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Grade 2 and 3 classes from a North Okanagan elementary took over Letters page of this Black Press newspaper

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

Most Read