Cold Tea Restaurant. (Google Maps)

Cold Tea Restaurant. (Google Maps)

Vancouver restaurant faces backlash, accused of hosting 100-person party on New Year’s Eve

COVID restrictions meant the restaurant could not host parties of any size

A Vancouver restaurant has been fined $2,300 for allegedly breaking provincial health orders on New Year’s Eve.

Cold Tea Restaurant, located at the corner of Granville and Davie in the city’s downtown, received a fine shortly after 11 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Sgt. Steve Addison said “officers did issue a $2,300 ticket after observing a large social gathering in violation of the public health order.” Addison said the officers estimated there were 85 to 100 people in attendance. None of the attendees were fined.

B.C. health officials imposed strict last-minute regulations for New Year’s Eve after fears that large gatherings of intoxicated people could lead to greater spread of COVID-19. The one-day rules shut down alcohol sales, both at restaurants and in stores, at 8 p.m. sharp. As of 9 a.m. on Jan. 1, earlier restrictions of a 10 p.m. last call for alcohol at restaurants resume until at least midnight on Jan. 8, when the province will decide whether to lift restrictions that have been in place for some regions since November. A ban on gatherings of any size has been in place for weeks.

The restaurant, which on its website describes itself as a Chinese-Vietnamese restaurant, was blasted on social media for failing to adhere to COVID rules. Some commenters said the restaurant was “basically done” while others called their actions “deplorable.”

In an emailed statement to Black Press Media, the restaurant said the public commentary “makes them look a lot worse than the situation really was.”

“It was 38 people, they were sitting at at socially distanced tables. The Police never did a head count,” a restaurant spokesperson stated.

“Unfortunately when the police stormed the restaurant through the back door, the optics weren’t good, as the group was in the process of taking pictures together, mask-less.”

The spokesperson said that management and owners had asked the group to mask up but that’s as much as they were going to do.

The spokesperson said the group was in the process of leaving, but did acknowledge that the situation was happening after 10 p.m.

The restaurant, which opened in mid-May 2020, stated that they did not qualify for government assistance including rent relief,Canada Emergency Business Account loans or the wage subsidy.

“At the end of the day Cold Tea was simply trying to survive and make rent for this month, they had no intention of breaking the regulations,” the spokesperson added. “At this point it comes down to their livelihood, they’ve followed the rules until this point and the article makes them look a lot worse than the situation really was. I think restaurants are struggling enough as is and it’s unfortunate that things got exaggerated. They understand the mistakes that were made, but are paying for far worse.”

The spokesperson said that Cold Tea Restaurant has been vandalized since news broke of the fine.

READ MORE: B.C. cuts off New Year’s Eve liquor sales at 8 p.m.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Edward Koepke holds up a rainbow trout he caught at Dewar Lake. (Photo submitted)
Ice fishing at Dewar Lake on the chopping block

Ministry staff are eyeing the popular spot for a brood lake

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Williams Lake RCMP have announced a new officer in charge, Myron Friesen, of Grande Prairie, Alta. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Longtime Williams Lake RCMP officer in charge leaving, new replacement announced

Insp. Jeff Pelley has been with the Williams Lake RCMP since 2016

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
RCMP investigating suspicious trailer found abandoned in Cache Creek

Hazardous materials believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs were found

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

Most Read