Published Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:55AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 26, 2020 8:01AM EST
At around 6 a.m. on Thursday, officers were seen at the Queen Elizabeth Blvd. location of Adamson Barbecue, changing the locks at the restaurant under an overnight order made by Toronto Public Health.
Owner Adam Skelly has vowed to reopen his business again on Thursday and was seen arriving at the premises shortly before 8 a.m.
Skelly asked media to stay off the private property and was seen talking with police officers.
He was eventually seen entering the business through a back door where the locks weren't changed.
Police laid nine non-criminal charges on Wednesday against Skelly who reopened the business for a second straight day despite Toronto Public Health formally ordering its closure for allowing customers to eat inside on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, dozens of patrons were seen inside the restaurant, many of them without face coverings, in a repeat scenario from the previous day. However, the patrons left the premises shortly before noon and police were seen blocking the entrance so that nobody else could go inside.
Police confirmed on Wednesday that both Skelly and the corporation that the restaurant is registered to is facing a combined eight charges under the Reopening Ontario Act as well as one additional charge for operating in contravention of the Toronto Public Health order.
The charges under the Reopening Ontario Act are for hosting an illegal gathering on both Tuesday and Wednesday and for offering dine-in service on both days as well. Each individual charge can result in a fine of up to $10,000 for individuals and $100,000 for corporations.
The City of Toronto says Skelly is also facing two municipal bylaw charges for operating a business without a licence.
The police intervention comes after dozens of customers were initially seen eating inside and outside of the restaurant on Tuesday, despite lockdown rules for Toronto and Peel Region which prohibit indoor dining but allow takeout and delivery service.
Both of the COVID-19 hot spots entered lockdown on Monday for at least 28 days.
The flouting of rules eventually led to a decision by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa to use her powers under the Health Protection and Promotions Act to order the business to close on Tuesday.
But that didn’t stop Skelly from reopening his doors for indoor dining again Wednesday morning.
Police said they contemplated dispersing the large crowd that came in support of Skelly on Wednesday but decided to negotiate directly with the owner in the hopes that he would eventually leave the premises, which he did.
Police said they will be back to shut Skelly down if he tries to reopen again.
“We are in a position to stop him if he opens tomorrow or the next day. The strategy will change from day to day depending on what we are faced with,” Toronto Police Supt. Domenic Sinopoli said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Skelly is due in court on March 19, 2021.
-With files from CP24.com staff