A Kelowna restaurant has had to close its doors after refusing to comply with the vaccine card protocol.
Renegade Kitchen and Craft Bar has been vocal about its opposition of the province’s public health protocol, emphasizing that while they are not anti-vaccine, they do not support something that could be discriminatory.
“We are choosing to remain an inclusive place for all of our staff and guests,” the restaurant wrote in a social media post in mid-September.
“We are not anti-vaxx, but we are anti these health cards as they are causing such division and exclusion in our community and society.”
The restaurant remained open without checking customers’ vaccine cards but has now been ordered to close by Interior Health. Renegade’s liquor licence has also been suspended.
The front door of the restaurant has the closure and licence suspension notices taped on it, with IH outlining when they received complaints of non-compliance when it came to the vaccine card, as well as times when the health authority reached out to warn the owners Meghan Carr and Shaun Sanders to comply.
News of Renegade’s closure follows the departure of Penticton’s Bad Tattoo co-owner Lee Agur stepped down after moving to a cafeteria-style service to avoid non-compliance.
The brewery backpedalled, saying it will now return to normal service and check vaccine cards, with Agur stepping down.
President and CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA) Ian Tostenson previously warned that restaurants who refuse to comply with public health orders will see the consequences of their actions.
“If they continue to not follow the provincial order, eventually, the government’s going to catch up with them,” he said in a previous interview with Black Press Media.
“They’ll face a penalty and/or they will face closure. We at the BCRFA support that because we’re trying to do something here for the health of British Columbia.
“We’re not trying to make people mad or isolate them but at the same time, 99 per cent of business in B.C. are trying in earnest to do what they think is going to help B.C.”