Co-owner Willson Luu told MTL Blog about the reasons for the decision, which, according to the restaurant's social media announcement, "was not an easy decision to make."
Luu started by clarifying that he is fully vaccinated, though he emphasized that he had a choice in the matter.
"Everyone has their right to choose whether they wanted to get vaccinated or not like they have their rights to their own opinion," Luu wrote in an email.
"Our job is feeding people with our delicious food and that makes people happy."
Luu said the onus should not be on business owners to check vaccine passports but rather on the government.
"I believe that the vaccine passport is segregating people. We are not enforcers. We are private citizens just trying to make a living to support ourselves and our families." he said.
"If they want to enforce a rule [...] [or] law then they should hire enforcers to do their job for them instead of making our industry do it for them. Our job as a citizen is to wear a mask, keep our distance from one another and to keep safe."
As Luu explained it, the best way for him to maintain a "safe environment for [...] staff and clients" — continuing to serve food without becoming enforcers of the vaccine passport — is to only offer pickup, takeout and delivery right now.
But he also said he doesn't expect other businesses to follow suit.
"The pandemic is hard enough for all small business owners as it is already. [...] A lot of businesses depend on their clients to walk through their door whether it is to dine in, go to the gym or go see a movie," he said.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
While there are a million and one spots to enjoy a 5 à 7 in the city, not everywhere does happy hour quite like this Montreal restaurant in the Village.
Resto Keela serves $6 drinks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., including house draft beer, house red or white wine, and speed rail mixed drinks, which is a choice of vodka, rye, rum, or gin — a pretty hard drink deal to beat.
As for food, you can go every week and try a different $6 dish at happy hour. "The $6 bites change from week to week but we always offer 3-5 options," owners Kristin Murphy and Johnny Hamilton told MTL Blog.
I went on September 10 and got to try green beans with a cashew romesco sauce and feta crumble, chorizo sausage, chicken Kaarage with kimchi cucumbers, and organic cherry tomato salad with blue cheese. And I kid you not when I say these dishes all take your taste buds on a culinary trip to heaven.
Keela's full menu is also filled with tons of unique dishes for you to try. The celery root carpaccio is hands down my favourite.
Every Friday night, you can hear the sweet voice of Bud Rice sing live at the restaurant.
Quebec's vaccine passport is in full force on Wednesday, September 15, as a two-week grace period comes to an end. The grace period was designed to give business owners and customers an opportunity to adapt, according to Health Minister Christian Dubé.
Fines for non-use of the passport did not apply in the first two weeks of September.
"I want to be very clear," the health minister said on August 24. "There are penalties and sanctions for inappropriate uses [and] there are sanctions in the criminal code for people who want to alter a document that's used by public health."
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
At a press conference on Monday, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante condemned the recent spate of protests against vaccine mandates in the city and had some harsh words for the individuals participating in them.
"We will not let people who have particular ideas about vaccination [...] stop people from getting vaccinated, doing their work, taking care of people, or going to study," the mayor said.
Manifester est un droit. Mais la ligne a été franchie, et ça doit cesser immédiatement. Intimider des enfants et de… https://t.co/YWBCfJku4O
MTL Blog has confirmed with Elections Canada that no, you won't need to show your vaccine passport to vote in Montreal.
"Voters are not required to have their vaccine passport to vote," the agency's media relations confirmed. Polling stations are also not on the Government of Quebec's list of places that require the passport.
Why wait for election day? 🗳️
If you want to vote earlier, you can vote by mail or at any Elections Canada office… https://t.co/LHmUgjLKFW