Etobicoke BBQ restaurant allowed to reopen after being shuttered for flouting COVID-19 lockdown rules
Police officers monitor the situation at Adamson Barbecue as the restaurant has defied provincial lockdown orders to shut down indoor and outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Published Monday, December 14, 2020 2:14PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 14, 2020 3:05PM EST
The city is allowing a Toronto restaurant previously shuttered after defying provincial lockdown orders to reopen in order to provide takeout and delivery services—but only after the owner obtains a proper business licence.
The owner of Adamson Barbecue in Etobicoke was charged last month after opening to customers for indoor dining, despite provincial orders prohibiting the service.
A day after Toronto officials closed the restaurant, a crowd of supporters allegedly broke through a cordoned-off section of the building in an effort to reopen the establishment. Owner Adam Skelly, as well as one other person, was arrested by Toronto police.
Indoor dining has been prohibited in Toronto since Oct. 10 and in-person service on outdoor patios was banned when the city went into lockdown on Nov. 20.
Skelly, 33, was charged with multiple offences, including one count of attempting to obstruct police, one count of mischief under, one count of failing to comply with a continued order under the Reopening Ontario Act, and one count of failing to leave when directed under the Trespass to Property Act.
He was released on bail the following day under numerous conditions.
In a news release issued Monday afternoon, Toronto officials said that the medical officer of health has lifted the requirement under the Health Protection and Promotion Act that ordered the closure of Adamson Barbecue.
“The lifting of the requirements of the Section 22 order would permit the Adamson Etobicoke location to open for takeout, delivery, or drive through only as allowed for under the lockdown regulation, subject to compliance with the City of Toronto's business licensing bylaw and passing a DineSafe inspection,” the news release said.
“Should that location defy the restraining order and the lockdown regulation and open for indoor and/or outdoor dining, the owner, the business, and/or its employees and agents could face contempt of court findings.”
The reopening of Adamson Barbecue is contingent on the restaurant obtaining a business license, something the city says the owner has been convicted of operating without three times since 2017.
The city said that operating without a business licence can result in a maximum penalty of $25,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a corporation.
“The City’s MLS letter has also warned the owner that a court may order that the premises be closed for up to two years where an owner is convicted of knowingly operating without a business licence,” the city said.
The restaurant remains under a provincial order “restraining them from contravening the lockdown regulation under the reopening Ontario Act (ROA).
Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said the closure of the restaurant was rescinded, as “the conditions that necessitated the order in the first place are no longer present at this point in time.”
“There is no need for the order right now. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't other rules that need to be followed.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory added that he supports all the action taken against the restaurant by the city and that if future rules are broken, there could be severe consequences.
“This is a person who has been a repeat offender in this area, and when you're a repeat offender, then it is necessary that more severe consequences should befall you if you continue to offend,” Tory said.
“We're going to be watching this very closely.”