oakwood hardware toronto

Toronto restaurant praised for asking unvaccinated customers to eat outdoors

A Toronto restaurant asking unvaccinated people to sit outdoors is the latest to take heat for their policy, attracting backlash and the spate of negative reviews that seem to accompany publicly announcing such policies these days.

Oakwood Hardware has turned from a relatively sleepy spot serving comforts like burgers and fried chicken into an overnight sensation for their policy, which is totally based on the honour system.

They're only asking that unvaccinated people elect to sit outdoors, not asking anyone for any information.

Though they've received negative attention, they've also gotten a wave of support. 

People have been sharing articles about the restaurant's policies on Facebook, saying things like "YESSS! +1 for The Oakwood Hardware."

"The antivax crowd is small but loud. And it can really make a small business feel terrible," someone else wrote.

"Right now The Oakwood Hardware is being attacked for nicely asking unvaccinated people to eat on the patio as they place a higher risk on their staff and guests. Please send a kind thought their way on Facebook or Google reviews!"

Medical expert Nathan Stall called the honour-based policy a "great move" and like many, argues that this shows how a burden of responsibility has been placed on restaurants that should really belong to the government.

"Smoking in restaurants is the best comparison," one person replied to his tweet. "We used to allow it."

Councillor Ana Bailo chimed in to support that the policy is in place "to protect their customers, staff and community's health" and say she can't wait to go back.

An internist named Abdu Sharkawy said he hopes the policy catches on as a trend.

One person shouted out the restaurant for their compassion towards immunocompromised people in taking this route.

Restaurants have been at the centre of many debates in recent history, but this current uproar about vaccine policies might be one of the most intense yet.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Chinese restaurant that was a huge hit during lockdown opening first Toronto location

Proceeds from donut sales in Toronto will support residential school survivors

Top draft pick of Toronto Raptors surprises staff at local restaurant

Sobeys is permanently closing another supermarket in Toronto

Scottish beer brand is hosting a pop-up in Toronto

Toronto restaurant refusing vaccine passport exemptions and some aren't happy

Ontario restaurant welcomes unvaccinated customers in defiance of government orders

Win a Zestspot prize pack