The Crown and Anchor Pub is a meeting place for local veterans. The North Edmonton bar serves as something of a community centre for people looking to get out of the house, have a pint, tell some stories and have a little bit of human interaction.
Unfortunately, the Crown and Anchor has ended up in the middle of two warring factions of the pandemic lockdown: the “pro locker-downers” and the “open everything up, or else” tribes.
Terry and Theresa Shaw, the pub's owners, reopened their business in defiance of the lockdown on indoor dining in Alberta. Nearly immediately, Alberta Health Services descended on the business, issuing them a closure notice.
Proponents of the lockdown also started sending threatening messages to the Crown and Anchor for being open, which caused Terry and Theresa to become very concerned for the safety of their staff, which includes their daughter. The Shaws are now working to comply with the shutdown and are ramping up their patio capacity as best they can, but they're concerned about their aging customer base sitting outside in the 4° degree weather.
Normally, the Shaws aren't the kind of people to be bullied by anybody, but there's more to the story.
During the second lockdown (we're on our third out here in Alberta), the Shaws' daughter was hit in the face with a glass by an angry customer who reacted violently when she asked the customer to put a mask on.
She just wanted the customer to follow the rules so her mom and dad's business wouldn't get in trouble. Now she's still recovering, and her face may be scarred forever.
The violent attack on their daughter is the reason the Shaws are taking this latest round of threats against them seriously.
The Crown and Anchor fiasco is a reminder that good people face real consequences from bad government decisions that divide the public. People on one side are mad because the Shaws are making the decision to comply with health orders out of concern for their daughter. Those on the other are mad that they didn't comply in the first place.
And in the middle is one family-run business just trying to stay afloat.