Barrie, Ont. Restaurant continues to challenge COVID-19 shutdown, stay-at-home order

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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) suspended a Barrie restaurant’s liquor license after the facility challenged the province’s COVID-19 shutdown and order to stay at home.

AGCO compliance officers visited the Simmering Kettle restaurant on Saturday for a follow-up inspection after the company remained open for food services during the Ontario shutdown.

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Upon entering the restaurant on Bryne Drive, AGCO compliance officers noted that customers and staff were not wearing masks. The AGCO also said officers were offered a table for dinner before they identified themselves.

When they identified themselves and asked to speak to the person in charge, the AGCO said officers were told the restaurant owner was not present.

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According to the AGCO, compliance officers were told that Public Health had arrived the day before, that a hearing date had been set and that it was “no [officials’] business. “

“The situation worsened very quickly,” the AGCO said in a press release. “Customers came together and demanded that the [compliance officials] leave the premises because they were in violation. They showed a sign on the door to this effect.

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The AGCO said about seven to ten clients have started chanting, “Get out, get out”. The provincial agency also alleged that none of the customers were wearing masks as they “walked” towards compliance officers.

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” The [compliance official] advised the staff member that they were not facilitating the inspection and then they left the area for their own safety, ”the AGCO said.

“Three clients followed the [compliance officials] outside and to their cars while filming, berating and threatening them. At no time did staff intervene or attempt to defuse the situation. “

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Global News reached out to Simmering Kettle restaurant for comment, but owner Shalu Persaud declined an interview and referred to the restaurant’s Facebook page, where she posted several videos about the situation.

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“I just want to run my business,” Persaud said in a Facebook video Monday. “It’s all in the interest for me to do that.”

On Wednesday, Persaud videotaped two Barrie business license officials who showed up at Kettle Simmering to inform him that his business license expired on February 2. In the video, one of the officials tells Persaud that she has been accused of operating without a business license city of Barrie.

In the video, Persaud tells officers that she operates under “common law” and does not agree to a contract with the City of Barrie.

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According to the AGCO, licensees to sell liquor are required to meet obligations under the Liquor License Act and to act with honesty and integrity. A licensee must allow police officers or AGCO compliance officers in the performance of their duties to access the establishment.

The AGCO has issued a notice stating that it is proposing to revoke the restaurant’s liquor license for violations.

“People don’t come to my restaurant to drink alcohol,” Persaud said. “That’s not what we’re getting out of right now. People go out because they want to see other people, they want to come back to life, they want to feel that life is normal, even for a little while.

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In a video Tuesday, Persaud said the liquor license suspension was a way to “hurt” her business and force it to comply.

“To those who find me offensive or who think that I am not a good person, I send you love and light,” Persaud said Tuesday. “I’m sorry you feel like this… I just know that’s what I’m supposed to do now.”

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