Montreal restaurant owners bang on their pots and pans as they demonstrate to pressure governments to let them reopen their restaurants in Montreal, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
Nearly 30 restaurateurs banged their cookware while marching from Place Jacques-Cartier to Montreal City Hall during a demonstration that lasted about half an hour.
The provincial government allowed retail stores in the city with outside access to resume business this week, but it has yet to announce when restaurants can open their dining rooms.
Owner of two restaurants on Old Montreal’s Place-Jacques-Cartier, called Eric Luksenberg, Said that without the summer season he won’t be able to pay his rent next winter, so he came up with the idea to “make a little noise.”
“The next step is to figure out when (the government) will give us a date to reopen. If they don’t give us a date, the next step is to maybe close our doors and declare bankruptcy. There’s no other choice.” Luksenberg said.
Fellow owner Donato Trafficante estimates he lost more than $80,000 in revenue from his two establishments last weekend alone. He said if he is unable to open this summer, it could take two to three years to recover.
Trafficante hoped Wednesday’s demonstration would attract the attention of Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and Quebec Premier Francois Legault.
“What we’re all afraid of is that they say: ‘In two weeks, we’re going to open the restaurants.’ Then everybody has to scramble to get the procedures in place and put up our terraces. There’s a lot of work to be done to start our summer season.”
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