Two West End restaurants in Vancouver closed due to COVID-19 infractions


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Two West End restaurants have been ordered closed after repeated health and safety violations, mostly pertaining to ignoring physical distancing requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vancouver Coastal Health inspectors issued a notice to the Babylon Restaurant and Bar at 1162 Denman on Sept. 4, ordering the business to shut down under the Public Health Act.

At some point, VCH also issued a shut down order for 1156 Denman, where the Babylon Cafe is located next door to the Babylon Restaurant and Bar, but that notice is not yet posted online and can only be seen taped to the door of the restaurant at 1162 Denman.

Both businesses appear to be registered to the same owner and share a phone number, but VCH lists separate inspection reports for each location.

Vancouver Coastal Health confirms both the restaurant and cafe have been closed.

At the restaurant location, inspectors noted back in March that a hand washing station was either obstructed or going unused.

Inspectors also noted “Equipment, utensils and/or food contact surfaces are not maintained/ used in a manner that ensures safe and sanitary food handling,” in that March 13 report.

Once shutdowns and closures began in Phase 1 of B.C.’s COVID-19 prevention approach, inspectors visited both locations a number of times, repeatedly noting too many people sat at tables together, as well as a failure to maintain space between patrons inside and outside the restaurant.

The reports suggest too many people were allowed in the restaurant at one time and a lack of monitoring and enforcement led to multiple infractions.

The notice posted on the door of the cafe orders owners to step up sanitization of shared and frequently touched surfaces and notes the location cannot reopen until cleared by public health officials.

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