The Family Kitchen in Leamington Ontario defied Premier Ford’s lockdown orders on Tuesday, April the 6th when they opened up their doors for indoor dining to a large crowd that had amassed on less than 24 hours notice.
Independent MPP Randy Hillier put out a notice on his social media informing his followers of the Family Kitchen restaurants decision to open its doors in defiance of the Premier’s lock-down orders.
To my surprise as I arrived on the scene there was already about a hundred people gathered – at this time it was 10AM. As I set up my equipment the crowd continued to pile in, amassing to the point where 200-300 supporters lined the sidewalk – spanning all the way back to the CIBC at the end of the block.
According to Hillier’s post, the police were expected to show up and ticket the restaurant at 1030 that morning – but they didn’t arrive. I was on the scene until 2 pm that afternoon.
Another restaurant defied the lockdown orders
Apparently spurred on by the Family Kitchen’s choice to re-open – another restaurant in the area “Tortilla Leamington” decided to open their doors for indoor dining as well. I left the scene at Family Kitchen Briefly to confirm (only 4 min drive away) – and yes they were indeed people seated for indoor dining. That makes two restaurants in defiance of Premier Ford’s lock-down order in 1 day in Leamington alone.
Leamington showed a ton of support for Family Kitchen
You can check out our videos of the event on Facebook. As I stood taking in the scene of hundreds of people that had gathered in support of this small restaurant in less than 24 hours, I was taken aback by how much support was coming from the traffic on Erie street.
You can hear it in the live stream as vehicle after vehicle hit their horns in support. Even an ambulance and firetruck got in on the action – honking their horns as they passed by the small business.
Although some came with signs – most of the crowd was there for breakfast and not to “protest” as some might attest to. This is evident as the crowd slowly diminished over my time covering the event as patrons cycled through the restaurant’s doors – satisfied after a hearty meal.
A few individuals gathered across from the line outside of the restaurant in a counter-protest of sorts – it’s tough to call it that when less than 10 individuals were present. A few people drove by and got in altercations with the group lined up awaiting their breakfast.
One lady shouted at the group saying that they were the reason we were in the 3rd lockdown. Another young man spouted profanity as he drove by – clearly angry at the large crowd. However, contrary to what our elected officials and media pundits would like to hear – the vast majority of vehicles that drove by honked in support and waved or smiled as they did so.
In my 4 hours on the scene, I only witnessed 3 or 4 people that were angry at the group for protesting – everyone else seemed to be supportive of the business opening.
Businesses under the Ford government appear to have only two choices. One, close down their businesses and lose everything they’ve worked so hard to build over the years or two, open up their businesses and face the threat of closure by fine and force.
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