Toronto restaurant refusing vaccine passport exemptions and some aren't happy
An uptown Toronto institution and one of the city's most popular wing spots has taken a firm stance on the province's vaccine mandate by only allowing fully vaccinated patrons into their establishment. The move is drawing a mix of support and criticism.
Bistro On Avenue has been a mainstay on Avenue Road for about a half-century, serving up drinks, pub fare, and their famous wings, currently out of 1988 Avenue, between Lawrence and Wilson.
Many business owners have welcomed the rollout of Ontario's vaccine passport mandate, but Stern's comments to the media suggest she is not convinced that these measures are enough to keep her business safe.
Alleged loopholes in the mandate, including medical vaccine exemptions, have been concerns from day one, and Stern appears unsatisfied by apparent frays in the provincial safety net.
Bistro On Avenue has been drawing both cheers and raised eyebrows for its new policy of not accepting doctor's certificates as exemptions, reserving indoor dining for double-vaccinated patrons, and children under 12 dining with fully vaccinated families.
FYI: when we reopen Monday Oct 4th..we will not be accepting doctors notes re: proof of exemption from vaccines. For now only fully vaccinated can enter our dining room. Children under 12 exempt if they come in with fully vaccinated family. Trying to keep everyone safe indoors!.— Bistro On Avenue (@bistro_on) September 26, 2021
While those unable to present proof of vaccination are being denied entry to the popular bar and restaurant, Stern is careful to note that the restaurant still serves all, just not indoors.
Hope this clears things up for some people. We will still be offering takeout for those unable to show proof of vaccination. Goes without saying..masks still mandatory. https://t.co/4OgtoNOlvf— Bistro On Avenue (@bistro_on) September 26, 2021
Medically exempt and unvaccinated patrons will still be served through Bistro's takeout window at the rear of the restaurant.
Throughout the pandemic, there has been a disturbing pattern of businesses who take a pro-science stance being targeted by peddlers of misinformation. Sadly, this is once again the case with Bistro, which has been slammed with a series of negative reviews, many responding directly to the establishment's policy.
And.....here we go! Let the negative reviews on Google begin! Just got the first one in. Hopefully most people recognize these are often from the people who disagree with our views on vaccination requirements. Too bad it really isn't about the food anymore. #ohwell.— Bistro On Avenue (@bistro_on) September 26, 2021
Some are calling this type of policy out as discrimination, a recurring point from those with legitimate medical exemptions, along with the more vocal anti-vaccine passport movement.
Your discrimination against people with legitimate medical exemptions isn't a "disagreement." It's full out discrimination.— Sarah Colero🥄🍊 (@Sarah_Colero) September 26, 2021
Others have been quick to defend Bistro, with some even trekking far out of their way to support the business.
And mine! https://t.co/9swwRaKTL4— Rachel C (@chertky) September 26, 2021
blogTO reached out to Bistro On Avenue for comment, though with the owner likely inundated with reviews and media, the restaurant has yet to respond to requests.
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