Kingfishers Waterfront Bar and Grill in Maple Ridge has closed its doors temporarily. ( Greg Herman/Special to The News)

Kingfishers Waterfront Bar and Grill in Maple Ridge has closed its doors temporarily. ( Greg Herman/Special to The News)

COVID restrictions temporarily closes popular Maple Ridge restaurant

Kingfishers will be closed until COVID restrictions ease

A popular waterfront restaurant in Maple Ridge is closing its doors temporarily due to the spread of COVID-19 and current provincial restrictions.

Kingfishers Waterfront Bar and Grill closed their doors on Monday, Jan. 3. Management posted their decision online on Sunday, Jan. 2.

“We have made the very difficult decision to temporarily close our doors until further notice as of Monday, January 3rd,” the post read.

“This decision was not made easily but comes in light of the PHO orders and restrictions, the current climate of COVID-19 cases, and the health and safety of both our staff and guests,” the post continued.

Restaurant general manager Greg Herman said they are closing for a number of different reasons – two of the main ones being current COVID restrictions and also the fact that the first two months of the year are generally slow months for them to begin with.

“Right now, to be properly open during this COVID time, we have to have our tables and the chairs from the next table six feet apart,” Herman explained.

“So, because of that, we only have 15 tables which for a restaurant of our size it’s not sustainable as a business to support all our staff and all our bills and be able to make a go of it,” he said.

Herman said case counts are so high right now that you don’t have to look far to know someone who has the virus. It wouldn’t be too long, he believes, until members of his staff would be calling to say their roommate came down with the virus, or they themselves tested positive for COVID after working a shift.

But with three dozen employees that depend on the restaurant staying open, even during the slow period, it was a tough decision, he remarked.

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“You’ve got to keep them safe and everyone too,” said Herman of his staff and customers.

“At the end of the day I think it was the best decision, just a difficult one, that’s all,” he added.

Current provincial restrictions for indoor and outdoor dining call for a maximum of six people at a table and a two metre, six foot, distance between tables, unless physical barriers have been installed. Customers must stay seated and cannot move between or visit other tables. There is to be no dancing and masks are required when not seated at a table. Normal liquor service hours must be in place and proof of vaccination QR codes must be scanned for entry.

During the closure time Herman said they will be working on upgrades to the restaurant. They will be updating the menu and making some minor changes to the layout of the restaurant and decorative upgrades. They will also be upgrading the air conditioning and other work a 15-year-old building might need.

The closure will be at least until Jan. 19 or until the restrictions of distancing in the restaurant end.

“I told my staff that I”m hoping by the 18th to be able to make an announcement when we will reopen.”

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