The Fernwood Inn at 1302 Gladstone Ave. is closing due to COVID-19. (Facebook/Fernwood Inn)

Victoria restaurant offers its entire stock of food to staff as it closes due to COVID-19

The Fernwood Inn is closed for the foreseeable future

The Fernwood Inn is shutting its doors in the wake of the COVID-19 virus, but not before offering its staff all of the remaining food in the restaurant.

Sixty staff members were laid off on Friday in compliance with provincial calls for social distancing. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry ordered all pubs to close on March 17, as well as any restaurants that could not accommodate social distancing.

“It’s been difficult to have make this decision,” said Michael Colwill, general manager and operating partner at both the Fernwood Inn and Fernwood Pizza. “They are equal parts staff, equal parts family.”

Fernwood Inn is closing, while Fernwood Pizza remains open on a delivery-only basis, which also resulted in staff cuts.

To try to help with the situation, management decided to open a pop-up grocery store so staff could pick up food for free.

“Our staff are the ones who are getting hit harder than most people in the neighbourhood, being in the service industry,” said Colwill, who is himself in self-isolation after returning from a trip to Mexico. “My heart goes out to them.”

The restaurant’s food supply includes everything from cheeses to albacore tuna, as well as produce, fresh chicken and ground beef. Colwill says there’s enough in stock to ensure that all staff members will be able to take a good amount home.

Management at the Fernwood Inn has also offered loans to staff members to help with costs in anticipation that the closure may go on for several months.

“We will survive, we will come back, we will be awesome,” he said, adding it’s just a matter of getting through it.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Coronaviruslocal business

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sooke’s homeless reflect on housing situation

Ed MacGregor Park a new temporary home for Sooke’s homeless population

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Book stores in Victoria notice uptick in sales for anti-racism titles

White Fragility, How to be an Antiracist are among the best selling titles

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

Longtime Vancouver Island fishing family hooks into local market over wholesale

Locally caught fish are scarce in fishing towns, an irony one Sointula family is working to change

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Library’s Summer Reading Club goes virtual

This literacy program is usually offered in person

Most Read