nique Hamilton

Restaurant in Hamilton that violated lockdown rules files for bankruptcy

A Hamilton restaurant that's made headlines for violating lockdown rules is now bankrupt.

An assignment in bankruptcy was filed by Nique on Dec. 29, a notice of insolvency posted in the Hamilton Spectator.

Nique owner Harrison Hennick has told the Spectator that the bankruptcy was filed due to insurmountable debt (though "the business has actually been incredibly lucrative") and was unrelated to lockdowns.

When proof-of-vaccination mandates were introduced, Nique refused to enforce them. They were temporarily closed during a Ministry of Labour investigation and charged under the Reopening Ontario Act.

Nique was temporarily closed as of Dec. 29, but posted to their Instagram story that they were opening for takeout on Jan. 6 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., encouraging people to share the news on social media. 

The rest of the restaurant's Instagram story is a flood of reshares of the takeout news from people supporting them.

The restaurant also posted to their story that they're "definitely going to be filing a lawsuit" against the Spectator.

Hennick had told the Spectator that the temporary closure would give staff time to spend with their families and relief from the stress of "unjust mandates."

Nique's Instagram feed is a flurry of oysters, fried chicken and wine, and their bio labels them as an "inclusive space."

The restaurant has also had a GoFundMe up since Oct. 31, 2021 that's raised about $3,000 of a $100,000 goal, saying they "have been threatened with fines and closure, and harassed and assaulted for standing up in the face of tyranny."

"Here at Nique we don't believe in division," reads the GoFundMe description.

"Nique currently employs a various selection of individuals on our team that are comprised of educators, medical professionals and hospitality professionals alike. Most of the team are here because they have been displaced from their professions for their freedom of choice."

During the Ministry of Labour investigation, Nique was listed as being for sale, but the listing has been removed.

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