Adamson Barbecue in Etobicoke opened for indoor dining on Tuesday, in defiance of government-mandated COVID-19 measures that ban restaurants from doing so.
On Monday evening, restaurant owner Adam Skelly posted a video to Instagram in which he expressed his frustration with government lockdown orders and said that Adamson Barbecue would open the next day so people could eat inside.
Restaurants are allowed to offer take-out food, but can’t allow dining inside as the province tries to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The restaurant drew crowds of protesters and other members of the public – some doing takeout and others choosing to dine inside. Public health regulations officers arrived and there was a large police presence at the scene.
Toronto Police said the crowd was too large for them to try to separate and the doors remained open during lunch hour.
Without any evidence, Skelly suggested on Instagram that the number of COVID-19 cases had been exaggerated, that tests of ineffective and non-essential companies had been unnecessarily closed. He claimed that “this thing” – he does not specify what exactly – “stinks, smells of corruption”.
” Enough is enough. We open. For all of you who love freedom and sovereignty, the right to choose what you wear, where to go, who to have in your home, what businesses you can go to, I would like to meet you tomorrow.
Carleton Grant, who heads the city’s law enforcement unit, told Star’s Jennifer Pagliaro on Tuesday morning that the restaurant’s plans to open had been brought to her attention “by a number of inside sources.”
He said municipal licensing, public health and police officials planned to visit the restaurant on Tuesday morning.
“If this or any other prohibited establishment does so, appropriate enforcement action will be taken,” Grant said in an email.
Skelly posted a video on the official Instagram of the popular Texas BBQ restaurant on Monday telling fans that their new Etobicoke restaurant will be opening for indoor dining “against provincial orders” starting at 11 a.m.
“For those of you who have eyes to see why I’m doing this, thank you guys so much,” Skelly said.
“It’s a risky decision and you gave me the gas to do it. “
“I can’t get mad at a businessman right now,” Premier Doug Ford said of the Adamson BBQ in Etobicoke, saying everyone should follow the rules.