adamson bbq toronto

Adamson BBQ owner Adam Skelly arrested after dramatic standoff with Toronto police

The sauce has hit the fan at Toronto's Adamson Barbecue restaurant, where, after opening for a third day in defiance of multiple lockdown orders, owner Adam Skelly was just taken away in handcuffs by police.

"A 33-year-old man was arrested for Attempting to Obstruct Police," reads an update issued by TPS Operatins shortly after 1 p.m. on Thursday.

"He has been taken into custody. More details will follow. Officers remain in the area. We continue to ask for calm."

It is unclear if any other new charges have been laid against Skelly today (in addition to nine announced yesterday against him and his incorporated restaurant chain), but the anti-maskers who've been supporting him are straight up freaking out right now.

Livestreamed video posts from the scene of Skelly's restaurant at Queen Elizabeth and Royal York Roads show police, some of them on horseback, surrounding the building in a united front.

Hundreds of histrionic protesters have positioned themselves in front of the cops and are screaming things like "FREEDOM!," "SHAME!" and "STAND DOWN OFFICERS! STAND DOWN!" 

Police first arrived to the Texas-style BBQ joint early Thursday morning to change the establishment's locks after Skelly vowed that he would once again reopen his restaurant for indoor dining after being ordered to close by Toronto Public Health.

Flanked by crowds of people wearing Trump 2020 hats and carrying anti-lockdown signs, the infuriated restaurant owner eventually managed to gain access to the building and start serving meat.

Police stayed on scene in an attempt to control the crowd of protesters, who have collectively come to be known in recent days as "BBQAnon."

Skelly was arrested and taken away for police obstruction shortly before 12:30 p.m. this afternoon.

His supporters remain camped out around the Etobicoke location of Adamson Barbecue, however, where they are now starting to tussle with police.

At least one additional male has been arrested so far for assaulting a police officer.

Meanwhile, four days after Toronto and Peel were put into the "grey zone" of Ontario's COVID-19 restriction framework, a massive anti-lockdown protest has broken out at Queen's Park.

The hashtag #IStandWithAdam is trending on Twitter in the U.S. and people on both sides of the debate are growing increasingly distressed over how the situation is being handled.

Many are criticizing Skelly for blatantly flouting public health restrictions amid a deadly viral outbreak, while others are calling him  a "patriot" and a "hero."

Skelly is expected to appear in court on March 19 of 2021 to face multiple charges for hosting illegal gatherings, breaching indoor dining regulations and operating without a business license on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Top to bottom, this thing stinks — it reeks of corruption," said Skelly of the lockdown in an Instagram post announcing his plans to reopen earlier this week. "How many businesses — how many people — are going to lose everything? Enough is enough."

"We're opening for anybody who is a fan of freedom and sovereignty," said Skelly at the time. "The right to choose what you wear, where to go, who to have over at your house, what businesses you can go to."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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