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Heat wave forces Vancouver restaurants to curb operations or close entirely

Locals hoping to seek refuge from sweltering hot homes and cooking duties at area restaurants may find they are out of luck.
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Restaurants in Vancouver and in communities across the Lower Mainland are opting to close down for safety during the current dangerous heat wave. Photo: Getty Images

As Vancouver and the rest of the province rides out the "dangerous long duration heat wave" Monday, locals hoping to seek refuge from sweltering hot homes and cooking duties at area restaurants may find they are out of luck.

Several restaurants in Vancouver have made the decision to curb their operations by either closing early or closing down their patios, or simply close altogether, due to the risk the heat poses for staff and customers.

The just-opened counter-service cafe and grocery store Oh Carolina announced Monday (June 28) it was closing at 1:30 p.m. "Join us for lunch, then see us at the beach!" the restaurant quipped on social media.

In the West End, the plant-based spot Beetbox is also turning off the lights Monday, echoing an issue businesses and home occupants across the region are experiencing thanks to buildings not made to take on these soaring high temperatures.

"With the heat our kitchen produces and lack of airflow in such an aged building, we are giving our team the day off," explains Beetbox on their Instagram account.

Down by the water along False Creek, the Beach Avenue Bar & Grill is also feeling the heat, and have opted to stay closed Monday. While dining on a patio along the seawall might sound great for customers, the staff would be working under dangerous conditions. "We have made this decision for the safety of our team, especially our kitchen," notes the restaurant.

Main Street Brewing, however, is opting to keep some parts of the business open: "We are keeping our retail store open and fridges stocked for pickup and delivery through Skip The Dishes and Uber Eats, but in the interest of keeping our staff and guests cool, calm, and collected, our tasting room and patio will be closed for today."

Out in other Metro Vancouver communities, several other restaurants are also hanging an unplanned closed sign up Monday. 

"Unfortunately, our AC just isn't keeping up with this unprecedented heat and we have decided to close for today for the safety of our staff," announced Haven in Langley. "I'm sure you can imagine how warm it is in a kitchen right now!

Before heading out to your favourite spot for a bite or a patio session, be sure to check with the restaurant to ensure they are indeed up and running. 

A heat warning for Metro Vancouver remains in effect until Tuesday, according to Environment Canada.