At noon on the 25th, police showed up at Czech Restaurant U Ervina in Olomouc and told the owner, Radovan Hořín, that he was suspected of breaking the COVID-19 restrictions and to please comply.

Hořín just went ahead and stayed open and told Irozhlas all about it. 

“I will remain open. I’m assuming they’ll come again in the afternoon. Maybe it’ll be the heavily-clad people who were here on the weekend.” 

Hořín, who consulted with lawyers beforehand, argued that there is no law written anywhere that says he has to close his business. Furthermore, he says the double standard in restrictions between retail businesses and restaurants/pubs is discriminatory in nature. 

Hořín revealed that the government is giving him CZK 15,000 a month as compensation for shutting down, which according to him is barely enough to pay rent for the restaurant, nevermind the other expenses in his life like utilities and rent for his family. 

“My bank account is completely exhausted. Last year we complied with all the regulations and hoped that the government would help us, but the compensation is very low… What about our heating and electricity costs? Not to mention I also have to pay rent for our apartment plus food for the family. We need about CZK 60,000 a month.”

The restaurant owner notes that last weekend, it was mostly a small, tight-knit group of regular guests and friends that came in support of him. One of his friends told Irozhlas:

“[The lockdowns] are discrimination and I don’t like it so I came to support a friend. I was here on the weekend and as I was leaving, 16 police officers arrived…”

Hořín added, “I’m not forcing anyone to come here. If anyone wants to come, they’re welcome to. Whoever doesn’t want to come, doesn’t have to. We are supported by people from all over the country. Of course, some people like to curse us on Facebook, but there are way more positive reactions.”

Featured image via Restaurace U Ervina