A Montreal pizzeria has decided that it will open at full capacity at the end of January, no matter what the province's COVID restrictions are.
Keste, owned by Luigi Esposito, will have its doors open with full dining rooms in what the owner calls "a bit of civil disobedience."
"We're fed up with what's going on recently," Esposito told CTV News.
Esposito said that he is frustrated by rules that have seemingly not changed since the pandemic's initial outbreak in March 2020.
“We followed all the rules, we went with everything that they told us. They put up all the dividers, we used masks, we closed up early, we all went home. We followed all the guidelines and we’re still in this mess two years later,” he said.
“[The Legault government needs] to accept the fact that they can’t point their fingers at others in this situation. It’s time they pointed their fingers at themselves. Our issue is our medical system: they need to fix that rather than closing down bars, restaurants and gyms that are trying to keep people happy,” he said.
Legault said on Thursday that while the curfew would be lifted on Monday, restaurants would have to wait for good news, and that "after winter comes the spring," potentially signalling to owners that good news was coming in a couple of months.
Quebec’s health minister, Christian Dubé, said on Thursday that restaurants should wait to reopen.
"I would just ask this restaurant owner and all other merchants to be patient. I know it’s difficult. We have put in place the measures to help them financially. We’ve done that. So I’m just saying that to make sure that we don’t go [backward], let’s go and do those measures gradually," Dubé said.
The Quebec bar owners association president said that Esposito's act would be "reprehensible."
"It’s not legal," said Jean-Jacques Beauchamp.