As vaccination passport rolls out, some Dawson Creek restaurants choose to stop dine-in service
DAWSON CREEK -- Two Dawson Creek restaurants announced Monday they will be stopping their dine-in services.
Just hours after the controversial vaccine passport rolled out, the Post and Row Tap house & Eatery, and the Roadhouse Café have opted to close their dine-in services altogether.
So far, these are the only two restaurants in the city taking this measure.
Kathleen Connolly, Executive Director of the Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce, says the restaurants' decision could be the result of a number of reasons.
"I think it's a way to protect your staff. That particular owner doesn't have to worry about his staff being confronted by folks who don't have the card, or who are looking to incite disorder." Connolly told CJDC-TV News.
The Post and Row declined an on-camera interview.
However, they did let their customers know via Instagram that, effective Monday, they will be offering takeout only instead.
"In light of the vaccination passport mandate," the post starts, "we will be closing our dining room to all guests for the foreseeable future."
They later add, "We have done everything that has been asked of us, following all public health orders, and we will continue to do our part - this time, just in our own way."
The notice drew a number of responses; many customers expressing support:
"I'm hoping the new normal will be people respecting one another's choice in how they care for their own bodies," a commenter replied.
According to Kathleen Connolly, if the vaccine passport keeps customers away, it could have a negative impact on a restaurant's bottom line.
"There is an expense to having servers that are not working or, cooks, or dishwashers who aren't working," she suggested. "There is a way to save money for a business that knows they are going to be impacted negatively by the card. In my opinion, there is some smart business sense happening."
CJDC-TV News also reached out to Chuck Fowler, President of the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce.
Fowler said while he doesn't know of any businesses who have followed on the steps of the Post and Row, some local restaurants are already feeling the impact from the vaccine pass.
We reached out to a restaurant in Fort St. John, and they said they had to turn away about 25 per cent of their customers.
That number does not include people who called the restaurant asking if the vaccine passport would be enforced.
Once they found out it was, some said they would not be coming.
Dawson Creek's Mayor Dale Baumstead, says decisions like these are concerning.
"We went through it a year ago, when Public Health Orders locked everybody down, and said [they were] closing. It's worrisome."