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Vancouver restaurateur dishes out optimism in COVID-19 'I Will Survive' song parody (VIDEO)

"We are fighting for the life of our business right now, and all depending on its survival"
Restaurant owner Seán Heather is asking us to think about when restaurants can open again in Vancouver, and showing up then to support them. Screenshot

When you think of the current plight of small local businesses like restaurants in Vancouver that are hoping to make it through the COVID-19 crisis to serve us another day, you might not immediately think of humming a disco-era tune. But one Vancouver restaurateur has turned a beloved anthem of empowerment into a message of hope for the industry. 

Seán Heather of the Heather Hospitality Group - which operates veteran Vancouver restaurants like the Irish Heather and the Salt Tasting Room - took to YouTube to share a video of the chef and businessman singing a COVID-19 parody of Gloria Gaynor's might "I Will Survive."

Heather has been in business in Vancouver since 1997, and is determined not to let the COVID-19 crisis and its surrounding economic fallout take him, his businesses, and his staff out of the game.

"We are fighting for the life of our business right now, and all depending on its survival; our staff, our leases, our community, our reputation, our family, our suppliers, etc.," explains Heather via the Irish Heather website.

But instead of focusing on the current perilous times, Heather is looking ahead to when he is able to re-open the doors at his restaurants, which also includes relative newcomer Open Outcry in downtown Vancouver, in addition to his Gastown spots.

"Your patronage will be needed then, more than ever before, to get us through that initial reboot. There will be new loans to repay, deferred rent to catch up, interest accrued everywhere that you look, and the payroll clock will start ticking again," adds Heather.

To that end, Heather is introducing a program at his restaurants called "Employee Pricing." You can pre-register now, and when the restaurants are open again, they will have select days and times when program members are eligible to come in and only be charged the "employee price" to eat.

"In this way you’ll help us right the ship and we will help stretch your precious funds," explains Heather.

Getting on board just requires filling out a form available on his restaurants' sites, like via the Irish Heather.

In the meantime, check out Heather's smooth crooning skills in his song parody video (maybe raise a glass in salute at the part where he mentions he and his wife's five kids at home with them, too) and keep Heather's top-notch establishments in mind when we're able to dine out and raise our glasses together in Vancouver again.