Loading articles...

Calgary restaurant owner says anti-maskers continue to harass staff

Last Updated Sep 20, 2020 at 7:39 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Some restaurants in Calgary say they’re facing aggression and “near violence” from patrons who refuse to wear a face mask.

Stephen Deere, the owner of Modern Steak, says anti-maskers have been harassing his restaurant – both in person and online.

“The confrontations are going from being a little bit back and forth, to becoming quite aggressive, up until the point of near violence,” said Deere. “I want to make sure people understand that this is not acceptable.

“Restaurants and retail are following the rules set out in front of them so we can stay open. We don’t want to be fined. We don’t want to be shut down.”

Deere says these heated encounters have been especially bad for his staff recently, especially in the past 48 hours.

“Employees are not going to want to come to work for fear of fighting with a guest or a customer,” warned Deere. “We need to sound the alarm.”

Other restaurant owners have shared similar stories with him recently, including the owner of Kabuku, a sushi restaurant downtown.

Deere relayed the account of four anti-maskers who “started grabbing things from the hostess stand and tables and started throwing them,” when they were refused service at Kabuku.

The City of Calgary implemented a mandatory mask bylaw for all indoor public spaces on August 1.