The heinous crime of selling pizza past 2 a.m. has forced a Gastown pizza shop owner to close shop for a day.
Ahsanul Islam, owner and head pie maker of Hot Pie Pizza on Powell Street, was dealt a one day suspension after Vancouver police photographed him serving fresh pizza at 2:20 and 2:25 in the morning, less than a half hour after being required to close by city bylaws. Under current bylaws, restaurants on the Downtown Eastside must close at 2 a.m., while bars can keep going until 3 a.m.
Police say they insist enforcing the rule for public safety reasons and because it helps them deal with the crowds once the bars in the area close an hour later. But there’s often a lineup of hungry customers at the popular eatery and, in comments made to the Gastown Gazette, Islam says he feels like a hard worker who is simply being bullied.
He says he estimates the suspension cost him $2,000 in business.
However, the City feels it has been understanding of the circumstances. It says it allowed for the suspension to be delayed a week at Islam’s request, so that Hot Pie Pizza could remain open over the Easter long weekend.
What do you think? Is the City right to strictly enforce bylaws for public safety reasons? Or are there better uses of police and City resources?
Featured Image: Google Maps