What Grinds Our Gears: Give Cold Tea the cold shoulder

Restaurants that flout COVID-19 regulations do not deserve to remain in business

Illicit New Year’s Eve gatherings should be the final nail in the coffin. Photo courtesy of coldtearestaurant via Instagram

by Sara Wong, Arts & Culture Editor

On New Year’s Eve, Vancouver’s Cold Tea restaurant decided to blatantly disregard COVID-19 safety regulations by hosting an all-night, 100-person gathering. In an interview with Global News, one of the restaurant’s owners took responsibility, but also defended their actions with the flimsy excuse of being a new business, stating that “survival instincts kicked in.” This shows that Cold Tea does not care for the health and safety of the community, which is concerning given that they are part of the hospitality industry. 

While I sympathize with their financial stress, Cold Tea is not the only new restaurant that has opened during this pandemic, nor are they the only small business suffering monetarily. Other local restaurants have found safe and creative ways to raise funds, such as encouraging gift card sales, selling DIY meal kits, and launching GoFundMe campaigns. Relying on “survival instincts,” on the other hand, meant putting a quick profit over the well-being of others, which is selfish, irresponsible, and absolutely inexcusable. 

BC’s COVID-19 regulations allow for dine-in services to still happen, which is a privilege that Cold Tea has taken for granted. Rather than owning up to their mistakes on social media, they have chosen to remain silent. Even when I spoke up on my platform, they had the audacity to block me — as well as any other users who criticized them. Cold Tea seems like they’re unwilling to change and do not deserve to remain in business, along with any other restaurant who would follow them.