Vancouver restaurant closed temporarily after allowing guests to dance

Closed due to dancing

A Vancouver bar and restaurant has announced that it will be closed for three days after patrons were caught dancing at their New Year's Eve celebration on Dec. 21, 2023.

Tocador, a six-year-old establishment at the corner of Main Street and East 10th Avenue, announced it will be closed February 25 through 27 after a ruling by the city.

"Even though this was our only offence In six years of being open the city decided to suspend our liquor license for three days on dates of their choice which means we have to close our doors for three days," states Tocador on an Instagram post.

"They gave us this decision two days before our 40k COVID loans had to legally be paid back."

The reason for the suspension is that liquor inspectors witnessed people dancing at Tocador during the bar's NYE festivities according to the post. Additionally, the venue was about 20 people over capacity at the time.

"When we speak to the general public most people are unaware that’s it’s illegal to dance in restaurants in Vancouver. That is just one of the very many rules restaurants are given," notes the restauarant in their post.

Tocador has a Restaurant — Class 1 with liquor service business license. According to the city bylaws, such establishments are not allowed to have "customer participation" which includes "karaoke, dancing or open microphone performing."

In Tocador's post, the business states at 11:54 p.m. on Dec. 31, two liquor inspectors arrived and wrote up the bar for allowing people to dance and being over capacity.

Earlier this year a hearing was held about the infraction, which did not go favourably for Tocador.

'Hopefully one day we can get rid of some of these archaic laws'

"We are incredibly disappointed with the government's decision and lack of empathy for restaurants and small businesses," states the Instagram post. "It really comes across like they don’t understand how serious the crisis is for restaurants right now."

The business adds that they are disappointed with the municipal government's apparent lack of support for struggling businesses.

"There are restaurants out there being given huge fines and even longer suspensions than us all the time," reads the post. "Vancouver has some of the strictest set of regulations. Hopefully one day we can get rid of some of these archaic laws and have the freedom so many other cities enjoy."

V.IA. has reached out to the City of Vancouver for comment on the ruling.

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