Restrictions Exemption Program Now In Effect In Restaurants
The provincial government introduced additional public health measures last week in an attempt to curb COVID-19 rates in Alberta, including the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) that applies to all restaurants and bars, effective September 20, 2021.
The program requires that all patrons over the age of 12 provide proof of vaccination (one dose is acceptable until October 25), proof of a negative rapid test, or documentation of a medical exemption in order to dine indoors. An apparent loophole in the program is that staff themselves are not required to be vaccinated.
Businesses that choose not to participate in the program will be barred from offering indoor dining, will need to restrict outdoor dining to a maximum of 6 persons (one household or two individuals who live alone), and end liquor sales by 10pm.
Over the weekend, many restaurants began sharing their plans based on the new restrictions, and it appears the vast majority will implement the program. Some restaurants, such as Fife N Dekel and Pho Tau Bay, have delayed indoor dining until October. Others, including Rosewood Foods, RGE RD, and Bundok, have announced that they will be participating in the program, while volunteering the information that all of their staff have been vaccinated. Restaurants such as Say Uncle have committed to requiring their staff to be fully vaccinated.
These hospitality businesses join Fleisch, EvoWonderLounge, and Arcadia Brewing Co. who mandated vaccine passports dating back to August and early September.
Passport Eats is one website that has popped up, offering to be a database of restaurants that have opted in to the Restrictions Exemption Program. However, because information is crowd-sourced, the information may not be accurate or complete.
One of the more prominent businesses to publicly opt-out of the Restrictions Exemption Program so far is KB & Co. It is yet to be determined if business choosing not to participate will see a decline in sales.
- Earth’s General Store shared that their continued mask mandate throughout the pandemic has lost them many customers.
- Scoop & Roll has opened its first storefront at 9920 137 Avenue.
- Balla Eats is a ghost kitchen serving up Italian eats operating out of the Rosary Hall Building (10335 100 Avenue).
- It looks like Xing Fu Tang, another bubble tea chain, will be making its way to Edmonton soon.
- The former Jacek storefront on 104 Street will be taken over by a bubble tea chain, Quickly.
- Two locations of The Mash Craft Beer + Craft Pizza are coming to the Edmonton area in Windermere and St. Albert. The Mash utilizes spent grain from the brewing process in their pizza dough.
- Blowers and Grafton is adding a location to the Currents of Windermere.
- TeePee Treats has relocated to St. Luke’s Church at 8424 95 Avenue and will be re-opening on September 22, 2021.
- Flirt Cupcakes has moved to a new location further east on Whyte Avenue. They can be found at 9124 82 Avenue.
- YEG Eats, a video series promoting lesser-known restaurants in the city, has released their first three episodes on YouTube. They feature Greenhouse Eatery, Monamie, and Yellowhead Donair & Pizza.
- Jason Foster was on CBC to discuss Irrational Brewing.
- Chef Paul Shufelt prepares chicken risotto on an episode of Dish with Mary.
- Edify checked out local institution Barb & Ernie’s.
- Those looking to share their garden harvest bounty with others who could benefit should look to the Leftovers Foundation.
- Pizza 73 plans to offer beer across all of its Western Canadian shops by next summer. Beer is currently available at nearly two dozen locations in Alberta.
Urban Agriculture and Farming
- This past year, enabled by grants, the Edmonton Urban Farm was able to expand to accommodate additional gardeners from newcomer communities.
What I Ate
- We picked up a meal from Viphalay to end a busy week. Emily lay claim to most of the spring rolls.
Pad Thai and green curry from Viphalay
- For the last Al Fresco Market of the season, Mack and I snacked on a couple of Whoanuts. Although it was tasty enough, because of the sweetness and the shape, it made me long for something that used to be available on 104 Street in the summers – a warm liege waffle from Eva Sweet.
Vanilla honey dip