The Tomato

Photo: CC, Thor
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Ottawa hot spot to serve limited-time-only menu of ice cream, chips and break up songs

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and couples new and old are rushing to make reservations at their favourite restaurants for a romantic night on the town.

But not all restaurants will be at their disposal on this romantic evening. Recently, downtown hot spot, Chez Raymon announced via Twitter their decision to ban couples on Valentine’s Day—and many other restaurants have followed suit.

Chez Raymond has long been one of Ottawa’s most popular restaurants for a romantic night out. On a usual Valentine’s Day it would be reserved weeks in advance and filled to the brim with couples wrestling the waiters to buy one more overpriced glass of wine.

Puzzled by the sudden decision by the owner, many have asked for explanations. Even mayor Jim Watson commented on the boycott, with a tweet that read “Happy upcoming Valentine’s Day! Too bad it won’t be spent at #ChezRaymond.”

In response to the public uproar, Alessi Supu, owner and founder of Chez Raymond has given only brief and confusing explanations.

“No tables for two! Chez Raymond is for lonely people only,” he said. “I don’t want those couples coming in here, with their presents, and their laughing, and their PDA, not in my restaurant this year.”

Supu’s Twitter page has provided many with a few more hints to this seemingly random decision.

“You think you know someone. But you never do. People will turn their backs on you at your weakest moments. #TrustNoOne. #MeMyselfAndI,” he said in one tweet.

Those who do show up may be in for a disappointing meal since Supu told the Tomato that he will be serving “only snack-sized bags of chips, pints of ice cream and fries.”

Apparently music in the restaurant for Valentine’s Day will be a playlist of the greatest breakup songs of all time, including Adele’s “Hello”, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”, and Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”.

Despite Supu’s embarrassment, restaurant owners across Ottawa have since spoken up about their true resentment for the couples that frequent their establishments on Valentine’s Day.

Couples across Ottawa have taken offense to this news, as they feel Supu’s move has created a trend that undermines the significance of this holiday and makes it very difficult to find a reservation.

Yvonna Tenson, a fourth-year chemistry student at the U of O, echoed this sentiment. “Everyone knows this holiday is meant to celebrate couples, not to coddle people who can’t find a date. This is a slap in the face to couples everywhere.”

“It’s not right that those with a certain relationship status on Feb. 14 will feel shunned and awkward if they try to eat out at a restaurant. It’s just not right.”