Small town restaurant closing doors after anti-gay slurs

Gay couple to close restaurant in Morris, MB after getting homophobic slurs. Brittany Greenslade

A rural Manitoba restaurant is closing its doors after the owners say they were confronted with homophobic slurs.

“Pots N Hands” opened in Morris in December, 2012 but in March this year owner Dave Claringbould says a few people in and outside the restaurant made rude remarks about him and his partner. He wouldn’t go into detail about what was said.

But Claringbould said the incidents had an impact on the business: customers with standing weekly reservations suddenly cancelled and never came back.

“We were just trying to bring a new restaurant to the community,” he said.

Business dropped by a third after the couple’s sexual orientation was turned into a public issue.

The mayor of the town 50 km south of Winnipeg said he is sad to hear they are closing up shop and said this doesn’t reflect the attitude within the town.

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“It’s sad that there is still so much ignorance,” said Morris Mayor Gavin van der Linde.

Van der Linde said after the incident was brought up during a committee meeting the group all decided to go to the restaurant for lunch and show their support.

Several people came to eat at the restaurant Tuesday to show support and said they want the owners to know the comments made by a few people do not reflect everyone.

But it’s not the first time the town has had a brush with intolerance. In January a local newspaper was criticized for an editorial that described aboriginal people as corrupt and lazy and compared First Nations protesters to terrorists.

The restaurant will serve its last meal April 13th.

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