“We’re dying a slow death”: Restaurant owner explains why he opened against public health orders

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The B.C. government is working hard to try and claim the life of Federico Fuoco's second small business in Vancouver. In spring of last year, Fuoco had to close his family restaurant, Federico’s Supper Club, after 21 years in operation. The difficult decision to do so came after the inability to receive adequate rent relief and support from the government, which was the final nail in his business’s coffin.

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Fuoco poured all the love he had for serving up great Italian cuisine to his community into his smaller restaurant, Gusto, located in Vancouver’s Olympic Village. Unlike so many businesses that have died due to B.C.’s blanket COVID restrictions on certain industries, Gusto appeared to have survived the worst of the province’s public health orders.

That was until B.C.’s most recent COVID restrictions banned all in-person dining for restaurants like Gusto — while allowing in-person wine tasting for wineries like Clos du Soleil, which is, coincidentally, co-owned by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The latest restrictions didn’t make sense to Federico. So in support of all small and medium businesses, Federico opened his doors to forbidden indoor dining, just like another restaurant owner, Rebecca Matthews, a mother of four, who opened her Kitsilano restaurant, Corduroy.

Watch the video above and you'll hear Federico explain why enough is enough, and why he felt this stand had to be made.

Instead of coming up with a plan to keep these owners in business during COVID, government officials came down hard on both owners who opened in defiance, and have now temporarily suspended their business licenses.

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  • By David Menzies


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