I don’t know about you but I’m starting to get some serious March 2020 vibes. With reduced capacity already in place and whispers of full lockdowns, businesses are once again pushed into the corner, fearing for the future. It’s not like the restaurant has had it easy over the past year and a half and unfortunately Casa Portuguesa was hit with another blow this week. The uncertainty of future lockdowns has already taken a toll but what was waiting for Casa Portuguesa early this week was worse than anything they could have expected.
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Casa Portuguesa opened in June 2020 which means they don’t qualify for rent relief or wage subsidies since they had no income to report from the year prior. With lockdowns and restrictions galore, opening a new restaurant in these times is not an easy task.
On December 16 Casa Portuguesa was contacted by Valard Construction and notified that there would be a power outage for system upgrades and equipment replacement on December 21st. Less than a week was apparently supposed to be enough notice for a restaurant to prepare for a power outage during one of the busiest times of the year.
Co-owner Carlos Oliveira, contacted Valard right away to voice his concerns that they have had a terrible year of uncertainty and that they were already booked with Christmas lunch reservations and take out orders for the 21st. He was told by two Valard employees that they would call back after speaking to management but he claims to have never received a call back which led them to believe the issue was taken care of.
Yesterday, to their surprise, there was no electricity. After approaching the workers “in despair”, according to Oliveira, they were “greeted with a rude tone” and told they couldn’t do anything with “smirks on their face”. After speaking with Hydro, they were told to simply close for the day and “cut the losses”.
“A few disappointed clients that had company parties had to be cancelled. Having to inform them this morning was stressful, especially when they support us so much.” according to Oliveira.
There has been no statement from Toronto Hydro except for a comment on one of Casa’s IG posts saying “We hear your concerns,” but saying that “due to potential safety concerns, we need to move forward with replacing this defective transformer. Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible.”.