Restrictions ease: Northern beaches cafes take a stand to stop 'discrimination'

TOGETHER: Bare Wholefoods owner Anthony Milotic and Xen Cafe owner Candice Shields want equality for all diners. Picture: Bare Wholefoods/Facebook, Geoff Jones
TOGETHER: Bare Wholefoods owner Anthony Milotic and Xen Cafe owner Candice Shields want equality for all diners. Picture: Bare Wholefoods/Facebook, Geoff Jones

IN a move to stop "discrimination" some NSW eateries are refusing to go back to dine-in service until everyone can eat there together.

The NSW Government's roadmap states only fully vaccinated people will be able to dine in at cafes and restaurants once the state starts to re-open after hitting the 70 per cent vaccination rate. The re-opening begins on Monday.

But, Xen Cafe in Brookvale and Bare Wholefoods in Mona Vale, both on Sydney's northern beaches, say this is discrimination.

"They [the NSW Government] have publicised it under the guise of the greater good, but when the vaccine doesn't stop transmission, even though it might slow down hospitalisations, I really think it's discrimination," Xen's owner Candice Shields said.

Ms Shields and her staff are vaccinated "by personal choice", but she said her customers have the right to "dine in without judgement, discrimination or invasive questions being asked". She also fears her staff may be abused if they refuse entry to the non-vaccinated.

CONCERNS: Xen Cafe's Candice Shields fears staff may be abused if they refuse entry to the non-vaccinated. Picture: Geoff Jones

CONCERNS: Xen Cafe's Candice Shields fears staff may be abused if they refuse entry to the non-vaccinated. Picture: Geoff Jones

"I've seen a few videos from the USA where they've verbally abused staff for not letting them in," Ms Shields said.

Bare Wholefoods' Anthony Milotic said he would not stand for segregation in his cafe.

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"Choosing love, accepting differences and a community in unity is what we need right now," he said.

"We have chosen to continue to operate as takeaway only until everyone is free to dine in. I want everyone to feel welcome at all times and I will never put profit before people."

UNITY: Bare Wholefoods owner Anthony Milotic said he would not stand for segregation in his cafe. Picture: Bare Wholefoods/Facebook

UNITY: Bare Wholefoods owner Anthony Milotic said he would not stand for segregation in his cafe. Picture: Bare Wholefoods/Facebook

The proposition of having to refuse entry to non-vaccinated customers will likely not be a factor for Hugos Manly, with the business still crippled by COVID restrictions, owner Dave Evans said.

"The restriction of one person per four square metres makes it unviable when we've still got to pay our staff the full money," he said.

"I reckon I'd lose $30,000 to $40,000 a week. It's just a matter of how much more money am I willing to lose."

Hugos Manly owner Dave Evans. Picture: Simon Bennett

Hugos Manly owner Dave Evans. Picture: Simon Bennett

Mr Evans said the reduced capacity restrictions worked last year thanks to JobKeeper, but this around "it's not worth opening the doors".

"We probably won't open until December 1, so we won't have to discriminate between someone who's vaxxed and someone who's not," he said.

This story These cafe owners are taking a stand to stop 'discrimination' for diners first appeared on Northern Beaches Review.