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'It's been really emotional': managing partner at downtown restaurant relieved to reopen following convoy protest

Managing partner at the Metropolitian Brasserie Restaurant on Sussex Drive, Sarah Chown, says the last three-and-a-half weeks have been financially devastating for her business and for the restaurant's staff. 
Metropolitan Brasserie
Metropolitain Brasserie Restaurant/ Facebook photo

As the downtown core is slowing returning to normal following the 'Freedom Convoy' demonstration, one restaurant owner is both glad and anxious to be opening her doors once again. 

Sarah Chown, the managing partner at the Metropolitian Brasserie Restaurant on Sussex Drive told The Sam Laprade Show on Tuesday, February 22, she was emotional in the lead up to welcoming back customers. 

"It was pretty extreme," she explained. "I had clammy hands all day and I don't know why that was  --- it's obviously to do with what was happening, what we had seen take place and that we were finally able to move forward. It felt very surreal that we had just lived through this whole thing and now we were getting back to it right away." 

Chown, who is also the Ottawa chair of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, says having to close during the protest was difficult, not only for herself but for her staff as well. "I mean, that three-and-a-half weeks that we've just been through was wild," she said. "The behaviours we saw taking place outside of our business on an ongoing basis was just mind blowing." 

She says her staff couldn't work in some cases because of safety concerns and the entire ordeal was financially devastating for both her business and for the restaurant's staff. 

She says she will be seeking help from the federal government, which had pledged up to $20-million to help cover operational costs for businesses affected by the blockades, in payments of up to 10-thousand dollars per business.

"We appreciate it, it will help," she said. "But, it is certainly just a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. The amount of revenue that we lost was hundreds of thousands of dollars and the expenses that we still continue to incur were far more than that." 

You can listen to Sarah Chown's full conversation below: 

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