Despite warnings from Eindhoven city council, barbeque restaurant De Kiet plans to open its doors to the public again on Sunday. The mayor of Eindhoven says, if they do that, he will close their business.
A week ago, De Kiet was open to the public and all of its dining tables full, something that is of course banned in light of the coronavirus lockdown measures. Eindhoven city council subsequently issued the restaurant’s owners, Nassim and Quincy, a warning and ordered them to close.
Omroep Brabant investigation
On Wednesday, De Kiet was back open for pick-up and delivery orders. The windows were covered up so that nobody could see what was happening inside. Omroep Brabant, a local news channel that has been investigating recent lockdown violations by local businesses, states that this is because nobody in the restaurant was wearing the mandatory mask.
When the owners noticed that an Omroep Brabant journalist was at the door, they locked the doors. They also refused to answer questions regarding their planned re-opening on Sunday.
Nassim and Quincy later posted a video announcement (in Dutch) on the restaurant’s Facebook page. In it, they say that they don’t want to cause a fight with the city council. Nevertheless, they continue to ignore the council’s warning. ‘Our voice must be heard, and it will be heard. That is why we are joining other entrepreneurs and re-opening on 17 January,’ they say. This refers to a collective of restaurant and café owners who want to re-open – despite lockdown measures – over concerns that the prolonged closures will damage their business irreparably. ‘On the 17th, we will be open. That is a promise,’ they continue.
In the video, the owners also reflect on the events of last Sunday. ‘We received a lot of reactions, a lot of love and a lot of support. People say we are fighters, but we are not fighters. We feel like concerned citizens, concerned entrepreneurs’.
In the video’s comments section, the pair are again referred to as ‘heroes’ and ‘fighters’. However, they have also received a lot of negative reviews. One says ‘this restaurant sticks their fingers up to the corona measures and all of the restaurant owners in the country’. Another comment called the owners egotistic, and called for the restaurant to be permanently closed.
Mayor of Eindhoven, John Jorritsma, says that if they open the restaurant on Sunday, it will be immediately closed again. ‘As soon as they open, they will receive a penalty and the door will be sealed,’ he says. This refers to a sealing tape that is placed over a business’ door if the council has ordered them to close. If the seal is broken (by entering the business), the business will be ordered to close permanently.
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translation: Rachael Vickerman