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Adamson BBQ allowed to reopen after owner defied lockdown measures

Last Updated Dec 15, 2020 at 11:14 am EDT

Owner of Adamson Barbecue, Adam Skelly gestures outside his restaurant in Etobicoke, Ont., Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. The owner of Adamson took to social media to announce he was opening for indoor dining against provincial lockdown orders. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Toronto officials have lifted closure orders and granted permission for Adamson Barbecue in Etobicoke to reopen for takeout and delivery, but the establishment must first secure a business licence.

This, after its owner, Adam Skelly, defied lockdown measures and hosted patrons for indoor dining for several days in late November.

On Nov. 26, Skelly was arrested and hit with several charges including mischief and obstructing police after breaking health regulations imposed by the city and the province.

He was granted and subsequently released on $50,000 bail a day later.

In a release issued on Monday, officials said Skelly and Adamson Barbeque remains in violation of the City’s business licence requirements.

City spokesperson Brad Ross told 680 NEWS that the 33-year-old is prohibited from being present at his restaurant and must stay 200 metres from it.

“The lifting of the requirements of the Section 22 order would permit the Adamson Etobicoke location to open for takeout, delivery or drive through only as allowed for under the Lockdown Regulation, subject to compliance with the City of Toronto’s business licensing bylaw and passing a DineSafe inspection,” the city said as part of its release.

“Should that location defy the restraining order and the Lockdown Regulation and open for indoor and/or outdoor dining, the owner, the business, and/or its employees and agents could face contempt of court findings.”

According to the city, the failure to operate without a business licence can result in a maximum penalty of $25,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a corporation.

In early Dec., city officials confirmed that Skelly has never operated under a business licence for his original Leaside restaurant, located at 176 Wicksteed Avenue in East York.

According to York Region’s health inspection records, another location, Adamson Barbecue in Aurora, failed multiple health regulations during its last inspection on Aug. 20 of this year.

Indoor dining has been prohibited in Toronto since Oct. 10 and in-person service on outdoor patios was banned when the city went into lockdown on Nov. 20.


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As part of his bail, Skelly must comply with the following orders:

  • Stay 200 metres away from Adamson Barbecue.
  • Not operate or direct any business except in accordance with Ontario’s Reopening Act.
  • No communicating on all social media platforms.
  • Obey the Health Protection Act.
  • Obey orders and law handed down by Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams and Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.

“On Dec. 4, the Province of Ontario sought and received a restraining order against Adamson Barbeque, its owner, and other agents, restraining them from contravening the Lockdown Regulation under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA),” the city said.

“The Lockdown Regulation prohibits indoor and outdoor dining. That restraining order remains in place.”

Mayor John Tory supports the municipal licensing and standards order.

“This is a person who has been a repeat offender in this area,” Tory said. “When you’re a repeat offender it is necessary that more severe consequence should follow if you continue to offend.”

“We’re going to be watching this very closely,” he added.

On the day of his arrest, police said Skelly was allowed access to the back section of the restaurant. Skelly and others broke through parts of the drywall to enter the dining area of Adamson Barbecue and damaged the locks placed on the doors.

Officers also arrested 27-year-old Michael Belito Arana of Markham who faces an assortment of charges, including six counts of assaulting police. The Markham man also reportedly spat in an officer’s face and uttered death threats.

Both men have been issued a summons under ‘Failing to Comply with the Reopening Ontario Act.’

Skelly is set for another court appearance on Jan. 4, 2021.