It was an unforeseeable circumstance no entrepreneur would consider before risking personal investments to embark on a business venture.
Two years in the making and only days away from opening the doors to Haven Kitchen and Bar (19664 64 Ave.) the owners of the Langley-based restaurant made the difficult decision to not open as planned to do their part to prevent the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19.
“We were so excited to show you the spot that we created for people to gather and celebrate as we have poured our heart and soul into this for over two years,” the Ruscheinski family shared in a social media post on Wednesday, March 18, the day they were scheduled to open.
“We took personal risks, sold off our investments, and gave everything we had to a dream that we’ve been talking about for years. As with many restaurants, getting to the finish line has been a roller coaster. Our team is exhausted and so are our funds.”
The owners of the independent restaurant, brothers Chris and Jamie Ruscheniski and their wives Haylay and Angela, said they made the “incredibly tough call that delaying [their] opening date was the right thing to do.”
“We went from a crazy adrenaline fueled high, being just two days away from opening our doors, to calling everyone on our team one by one to temporarily lay them off,” the Ruscheinski family told the Langley Advance Times. “Putting paper back up on the windows was one of the lowest points in our whole endeavor, but still better than what so many people are facing with the spread of COVID-19.”
As a result the team was forced to lay off 60 members of their staff.
But had the restaurant decided to move ahead with their scheduled opening, days later they would have been ordered to close their doors to dine-in customers.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Friday (March 21) that all restaurant owners provincewide would have to close their doors to dine-in guests and instead operate only through takeout or delivery services.
Starting Monday (March 23) Haven is launching a limited takeout menu.
But when word spread the restaurant wasn’t going to open as scheduled, Langley still wanted to support the local business.
“We’ve all been shedding happy tears with the amount of support we have received through our gift card program. It has without a doubt saved us,” the Ruscheinski’s said.
The family plans to open Haven Kitchen and Bar once the pandemic is over.