More Restaurants Voluntarily Close Dine-In Services
Last week, the Alberta Government announced their additional measures intended to curb the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in the province.
Though some had expected a temporary pause on indoor dining, restaurants instead can remain open for dine-in services for households of up to 6 people at a table, or for those who live alone, with up to 2 non-household contacts that are a part of their cohort. These enhanced measures were effective November 27, 2020, and are expected to last until at least December 18, 2020. The previously announced restrictions requiring liquor service to cease at 10pm and restaurants and bars to close at 11pm still stand.
There was confusion early on about the consequences of permitting mixed household cohorts to dine together, but the reality is that the responsibility of enforcing the restrictions has been downloaded to individual businesses and hospitality workers.
In the wake of the escalating active case numbers, a spate of restaurants have chosen to voluntarily close to indoor dining, some in part due to the challenges inherent in implementing the restrictions. Earlier in November, restaurants including Dagu Rice Noodle, Nongbu, Fleisch, Cartago, and Northern Chicken pivoted to take-out and delivery only. This week, they were joined by more than a dozen in the Edmonton area, including Avila Arepa, Butternut Tree, The Cabin (closed temporarily), Cafe Bicyclette (closed temporarily) Canteen, Cerdo, Chartier, Dadeo, Dang Good, Highlands Golf Club, Italian Centre’s cafes, Meat, The Next Act, On The Rocks (closed temporarily), Otto, Pip, Vaticano Cucina, Workshop Eatery, and XIX Nineteen.
Andrew Fung, owner and chef of XIX Nineteen shared:
“I feel very pressured. We (are) already having a tough time asking people (to) put on a mask and now you’re enforcing another rule on top (of that). I just found it very difficult. What we normally do is provide hospitality. We’re not police, we’re not law enforcement.”
- Baijiu, RGE RD, and Sabor and Bodega locations have temporarily closed due to positive COVID-19 cases among their staff.
- Drift has pivoted back to a Soup Club for the winter, accepting pre-orders on their website.
- Beaumont’s Chartier has pivoted several times during the pandemic, and is struggling to manage changing restrictions.
- Chef Paul Shufelt of Workshop Eatery, The Greenhouse, and Woodshed Burgers is calling for in-person dining closures and government rent support.
- Northern Chicken co-owner Andrew Cowan explained his decision to limit services to take-out and delivery only.
- Some restaurants such as The Common have decided to keep their dine-in services open.
- Local physician Dr. Leyla Asadi believes indoor dining is inherently higher-risk.
- Arcadia Brewing Co. is now open, after their initial opening date was postponed due to a staff testing positive for COVID. They are located in Manchester Square at 12016 107 Avenue.
- Back in May, Filipino eatery Joanne’s BBQ House opened during the pandemic at 13119 156 Street.
- Mesob Habesha Fusion is a new restaurant just north of Downtown at 10546 109 Street (formerly occupied by Kallin Restaurant).
- New-ish Shawarma Shack promises authentic but modern shawarma. Find them at 12432 167 Avenue.
- Rayyan East African Restaurant is opening in Chinatown in the space formerly occupied by Garden Bakery.
- Spruce Grove is home to a new brewery called Talking Dog Brewing.
- Bar Bricco is officially re-opening on December 1, 2020.
- Although they are still open for dine-in, Woodwork launched their in-house delivery service today.
- The Journal has the backstory behind Larry Harris’ microbakery la Bonne Vie.
- Phil Wilson’s latest best restaurant dishes column highlights the off-menu “animal taco” at La Patrona in Sherwood Park. Speaking of La Patrona, I’m always looking for great heat-at-home options, and they offer vacuum-packed tamales!
- The most recent episode of Josh Eats Edmonton focuses on the Arabian cuisine of The Bedouins.
- Fans will be happy to know that Sherwood Park Bakery is not closing, as was intimated on social media last week.
- Local Knifewear staff point out how to choose and care for kitchen knives.
- I missed including the correct link to Chef Serge Belair’s YouTube channel French-ie Cuisine last week – this week’s episode features a recipe for classic steak frites.
- As the owners of Dauphine were moving out of their Montrose space, their computer was stolen and accounts hacked. Wishing Linda and Paul well.
- William Choy, the owner of Bing’s #1 Restaurant in Stony Plain, has increased their free meal program from monthly to once per week for those in need.
- The YEG Community Response to COVID19 Facebook group has been putting together emergency food hampers for hundreds of Edmontonians.
What I Ate
- It was a beautiful day to walk over to Chinatown early last week to run some errands. It was also a good excuse to grab some banh mi for lunch from Nhon Hoa.
Combo sub from Nhon Hoa
- Mack, Emily, and I headed out to Jasper for a short getaway last week. As with our previous staycation earlier in the fall, we brought nearly all of our own food to minimize contact. One of the heat-and-serve meals we tried was the noodle packs from Golomein. Considering the preparation involves microwaving the dish from frozen, the quality of the noodles didn’t seem to be impacted significantly. We also enjoyed the flavours overall, and would be open to trying it again!
- It was nice to have a hot breakfast included in our stay at Pyramid Lake Resort. The take-out was super-efficient.
Take-out from The Pines at Pyramid Lake Resort
- We made one stop in town for some coffee and treats from Bear’s Paw Bakery. It’s hard not to indulge when this is the reaction to having a cookie!
Emily enjoys a cookie from Bear’s Paw Bakery