UPDATE: Dryden Restaurant no longer plans to reopen the Dining Room

The Black Barrell Eatery was planning to reopen its food service on Tuesday, but changed its mind after receiving financial backing from an investor

DRYDEN, Ont. –A restaurant in Dryden that said it would reopen for food service on Tuesday despite the province-wide lockdown has changed its mind.

In a social media post, the Black Barrell Eatery said it is “taking a stand” and will open for dinner and take out on Tuesday, February 2.

“As a small business owner, we have struggled to survive without government support during these difficult times with COVID-19,” the post read. “We can no longer survive and will be forced to close if we do not open.”

In a second message posted Monday afternoon, the restaurant said it had received financial support and would no longer open on Tuesday.

“We were contacted by an investor who witnessed our dedication and tremendous effort to succeed in these difficult times and who offered a financial contribution to a small business to support us during these difficult days, as an investment “, can we read in the message. “My words and gratitude cannot express appreciation.”

The provincial government issued a second state of emergency and stay-at-home order on January 12 following a province-wide lockdown order instituted on December 26. The ordinance forced restaurants to shut down food services.

The ordinances were to be in effect until February 11. It is not known at this time whether the restrictions will be extended.

The social media post generated hundreds of comments and a follow-up statement from the restaurant acknowledging that there were both positive and negative comments on its decision.

“I did not make my post today to cause controversy,” the post read. “It was simple. Our new local business is not doing well and we have made a decision that may or may not help us. Yes, we know there can be financial consequences and we stand by our decision clearly after looking at facts and research. “

The post goes on to say that there is nothing anyone can say that can change this decision and that other local business owners feel the same way and offer their support.

The Black Barrell Eatery said it wasn’t asking anyone to go against their beliefs or break the rules and they made the decision to survive.

“It’s time for us to step up, bring life and healthy living back to Dryden, a community we call home – while making sure we are doing ‘our’ part to keep everyone we serve safe. “, we read in the message.

“COVID-19 is appearing everywhere, ie in hospitals, etc., and there highly sanitized and take all possible precautions, it is ultimately inevitable. As long as we are all doing our part to be safe – just like going shopping or sending your kids to school, why can’t we have dinner with our families? “

The Black Barrell Eatery and Northwestern Health Unit have yet to respond to requests for comment on this story.


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