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Vancouver bar operator calls out 'selfish attitude' of Halloween partiers on Granville

Last Updated Nov 2, 2020 at 6:06 am PST


A Granville Street bar operator is calling out groups of partiers who took to the strip on Halloween

Operator of the Belmont Bar says 'roving party on the streets' is what's going to lead to more infections, closures

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleaded last week for people to stay home away from crowds on Halloween, but that message was ignored

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Calling them “just plain selfish,” one bar operator along the Granville Strip has taken to Twitter to share his disappointment with the Halloween crowds that took over the entertainment district this weekend.

Don Falconer, who operates the Belmont Hotel’s bar on Granville and Nelson streets, says he was disheartened by the groups of people who gathered on the strip on Saturday night, despite warnings and urgings from the province not to amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“As a business operator on Granville St (sic), one of the many who are trying to survive financially and provide a safe and regulated environment for people to enjoy dinner and drinks, the actions of the crowds last night were extremely disappointing,” Falconer wrote Sunday.

“I of course want people to still come to the ‘entertainment district’ and be able to have a good time. But what I saw last night was disheartening to say the least,” Falconer said, adding “there’s a safe way to do things.”

Claiming the group of partiers wasn’t interested in safety for themselves or anyone else, Falconer notes that what he saw on Saturday night is exactly what is going to spark more problems.

“The roving party on the streets last night is exactly what’s going to lead to higher infection numbers, closures of more businesses, and perhaps further lockdowns. Just plain selfish,” he wrote.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry pleaded last week for people to stay home and stay away from crowds on Halloween, however, it seems that message was lost on many.

In September, Henry issued an order restricting alcohol sales at bars and restaurants to 10 p.m., with establishments expected to close an hour later, at 11 p.m.

Falconer writes that the majority of businesses he knows along the Granville Strip “are doing their best,” but it’s when you kick patrons out that you have a problem.

“…they just go start the same garbage at the next place,” another Twitter post reads.

The large gatherings also drew the ire of at least one city councillor, who called the crowds of maskless partiers disappointing.

“It’s really concerning,” Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung said, adding further measures could be introduced if orders continue to be ignored.

“What we don’t want to see, but we’re going to head towards, I think, if we keep ignoring these recommendations, is lockdowns or shutdowns,” she said.

This is not the first time Vancouver’s entertainment district has drawn out young crowds amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-August, video depicting a large crowd of people along Granville Street began circulating online, and prompted criticism from social media users, including city councillors.

And more recently, farther south, some people were given a stern warning after large gatherings along Scott Road and 72nd Avenue in Surrey amid the Vancouver Canucks’ Stanley Cup run.