Dave Claringould and his partner (who wasn’t interviewed) opened their restaurant Pots N Hands four months ago, after moving to the small town of Morris for what Claringould describes as a “quieter life.”
A few Morris residents, however, couldn’t keep their mouths shut and made some anti-gay comments to the couple. They not only lost “a lot” of business but also their patience.
“One such comment was for instance,” Claringould told CBC News, “we were asked if someone was going to catch something off the plate they were served.”
Jeremy Weibe, who frequents the restaurant with his mother, is sad to see Pots N Hands go, but having grown up in a small town, he can understand the couple’s decision.
“I was working at a restaurant as well, and I know I had served someone, and they made a big thing about it,” said Wiebe. “I could tell they weren’t happy I had served them their food.”
Mayor Gavin van der Linde said that only a handful of residents are responsible for the remarks and most of the town is supportive of Claringould and his partner.
“I think like any other restaurant it takes a long time to get going,” he told CBC. “I think if they were a little patient I think they’d find a lot more support.”
The mayor and the community have offered the couple resources to help their business, but for Claringould it’s not enough to convince him and his partner to stay — though they harbor no hard feelings.
“There’s many great people here,” he said. “We’ve been supported by a lot of local people and local businesses that don’t deserve any negative impact from this.”