Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
VIA store 300x100
Join our Newsletter

How this Vancouver eatery is handling B.C.'s extended indoor dining ban (VIDEO)

"I think it's going to be a little bit haywire on the back half of this year."

Local restaurants are once again bracing for bad business after the current indoor dining ban across B.C. was extended another five weeks. 

It is now set to expire after the Victoria Day holiday on May 24. 

Under the orders, restaurants can continue to offer outdoor dining on temporary or permanent patios, as well as provide take-out or delivery options.

Commercial Drive's DownLow Chicken Shack is tailored for pick-up service but chef and co-owner Doug Stephen thinks communication between government and the province's restaurant industry could have been better.

"If our lobbying groups are being informed by the government that this is coming, why can't the government just go out and say it, instead of waiting till the last second? It seemed rather rude and unnecessary, to be quite honest."

Stephen also co-owns DownLow Burgers (inside the American Hotel) and Catch Weight Fish N Chips, both of which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

However, he has adapted to the volatile landscape. 

Stephen began food collaborations with local breweries; Strange Fellows and Powell Brewery are now selling his sub sandwiches. His staff are also given paid sick days in order to get tested for COVID-19 if they're feeling unwell.

Despite the present restrictions, he expects big business later in the year.

"I'm a big believer in the roaring '20s theory. I think it's going to be a little bit haywire on the back half of this year and my hope is that is done as safely as possible. People are craving that interaction."

With files from Lindsay William-Ross