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

Just Posted

VicPD uses ‘less-lethal’ rounds to remove woman barricaded in stranger’s basement

The woman is believed to have broken into a dealership, attempting to steal a vehicle earlier in the evening

Victoria woman to sell masks on wheels after garage stand shut down

Mama’s Masks stand accompanied Moss Street Market

Deal Street artist to host front yard art show this weekend

Ojibwe artist inspired by West Coast features and landscapes

Vancouver Island MLA says too much on shoulders of RCMP

Reformed Police Act could look at spreading responsibility to other responders

Lace-up, get moving at free roller skating night at Uptown

Skates, performance provided by Rollerskate Victoria

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Bamfield residents, visitors pressure province as anniversary of fatal crash approaches

Letter-writing campaign makes ‘heartfelt, emotional pleas’ to improve road conditions

Most Read