King West restaurants shut down for breaking COVID-19 rules

Toronto Public Health has ordered MARBL, King Taps and Casa Mezcal to close

Public health officials have identified the three restaurants ordered to close for breaking COVID-19 rules.

On Friday, Toronto Public Health (TPH) served MARBL, King Taps and Casa Mezcal – all located on King West – with closure notices for violating terms of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

A fourth establishment is in the process of being served, the city said.

The King West restaurants must remain closed until they satisfy conditions spelled out in orders to stop transmission of COVID-19.

“TPH found a concerning link involving these locations where many people are connected to more than one of the businesses noted,” the city said in a statement. “In some cases, for example, people infected with COVID-19 were employed at more than one of these locations.”

One restaurant was serving food buffet style, which is not allowed under provincial regulations. The city said another business did not cooperate with public health inspectors and was “significantly impeding investigation efforts.”

“Staff have also been found to be working while ill or pressured to work while ill,” the city said.

A statement on MARBL’s Instagram said the restaurant is closed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Asked for comment, a spokesperson for the restaurant wrote in a statement that MARBL is cooperating with public health officials.

“MARBL is fully complying with the Ministry’s order and has cooperated by closing our doors on Friday evening,” the statement reads. “We have done everything within our power to protect staff and guests and now, we must reassess and work alongside public health to ensure a safe and prompt re-opening. We will be keeping everyone apprised of any updates and next step.”

In an Instagram post on Saturday morning, King Taps said the restaurant is also cooperating with officials. It adds that patrons who visited on September 6, 9, 10 and 11 “may wish to contact Toronto Public Health.”

“A deep clean of the restaurant is being conducted and a review of onsite practices and protocols is under way,” the statement reads. “We will work with Toronto Public Health to determine our re-opening date.”

The statement goes on to list specific measures the restaurant is taking to protect customers from COVID-19 spread.

View this post on Instagram

We are temporarily closed. The wellbeing of our guests and staff is our highest possible priority and we are cooperating fully with Toronto Public Health. To that end, a deep clean of the restaurant is being conducted and a review of onsite practices and protocols is under way. We will work with Toronto Public Health to determine our re-opening date. Guests who visited on September 6,9,10 and 11 may wish to contact Toronto Public Health. We strictly adhere to the health and safety guidelines set by government agencies and health authorities and have also taken additional measures to keep our restaurants safe. Specific measures that have been adopted include: seating groups six feet apart or with a physical barrier between tables, hand sanitizer is available throughout the restaurant, limiting group size to a maximum of ten people, mandatory usage of masks and other PPE by staff, use of tap and credit only for payment, and rigorous cleaning and kitchen protocols. In addition, specific training procedures have been implemented for all staff.

A post shared by KING TAPS (@kingtaps) on

On Friday, the city’s Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa announced that four “hospitality-focused” establishments would be shut down.

Public health officials waited until after the owners were served before releasing the names of the businesses.

MARBL was previously the subject of an Alcohol and Gaming Commission investigation in July after a video went viral showing a crowded party scene on the restaurant’s patio.

This story has been updated


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