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

Police in Nanaimo hope to find the owner of a Giant Reign mountain bike that was seized after a man was spotted riding it without a helmet on the wrong side of the road on Christmas Eve. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP suspicious to find expensive bike covered in layer of duct tape

Police looking for owner of Giant Reign mountain bike that they believe was stolen

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker causes pain and damage at downtown Nanaimo gym

VIDEO: Suspect breaks fire alarm, slams door on business owner’s foot after attempting to defraud her

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Nanaimo school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

Cyclists pick up swag and cycling trail maps at city Bike to Work Week ‘celebration station’ a few years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo’s active transportation plan will be about more than infrastructure

City working on goals to double walking trips and quintuple cycling and busing trips

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
20 tires punctured in ‘slashing spree’ in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP ask for any tips about Jan. 12-14 incidents in Country Club and Boxwood areas

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read