Ricky’s suddenly closes

Staff and customers were caught off guard by the sudden closing of Ricky’s Restaurant in Ladysmith

Rick StiebelThe Chronicle

Staff and customers were caught off guard by the sudden closing of Ricky’s Restaurant in Ladysmith

The popular restaurant in Coronation Mall closed its doors for good on Sept. 25, following some uncertainty for staff that began four days before, said Donna Streeter, the restaurant’s general manager for the past 11 years.

“I was actually employed by Ricky’s before the building was completed 20 years ago,” said Streeter, who worked in the kitchen for nine years before becoming general manager.

She has been on compassionate leave since August while her husband is in palliative care, stressing how supportive her staff and customers have been during a difficult time, exacerbated by the sudden closing of the restaurant.

“One of my servers called me Wednesday because she thought something funny was going on,” Streeter said, explaining how events unfolded.

The server told Streeter that the bread delivery driver wanted to know if they wanted delivery the next day because he had heard from head office that the doors were being locked on Monday.

“I was in total disbelief,” Streeter said.

The server said she asked if the owner had contacted Streeter and she said she didn’t want to cause her any more stress.

Streeter spoke with the owner, Aileen Yan, the next day and was told the mall’s management was locking the doors on Monday and taking back ownership.

The Jim Pattison Group, which purchased Coronation Mall in April of 2014, issued a letter on Aug. 19 stating  the lease would expire on Dec. 31 “as the landlord cannot accommodate the tenant’s business operations in the premises or Coronation mall beyond the expiry date.”

Streeter said the staff meeting Sunday afternoon where the 21 employees were given termination papers was an emotional one.

“There was a lot of shock, anger and tears,” she said. “Everyone was really mad about the way it was done.”

Streeter said when Yan and her husband, Jerry Li, took over the restaurant 32 months ago, all of the employees were assured that all of the terms and conditions of employment with Ricky’s would be honoured.

“Quite a few of the staff were entitled to eight weeks’ severance and they didn’t get it,” Streeter said, adding many of the staff have already filed grievances with the B.C. Employment Standards Branch.

“I hope I get a severance package,” said Streeter, who has received nothing at this point. “After 20 years that’s just not right.”

Yan said she and her husband have invested $200,000 in the business and lost “lots of money” in the process.

“I’m not the bad guy here,” she said, breaking into sobs. “It’s not our fault. We had no choice,” she said, insisting that all requirements have been fulfilled regarding severance for the employees.

She said the decision to close so suddenly even though she had been without a lease since April was because she didn’t want to tell people they had no job at Christmas time.

Representatives from the Jim Pattison Group and Ricky’s Restaurants did not respond before the Chronicle’s deadline.

 

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Transport truck driver identified as one victim in double fatal head-on crash

Clifford Bishop, 54, a resident of Cassidy, had been a truck driver since he was 18

Manly will give it another go with federal Green Party

Paul Manly to be acclaimed as party’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate

Volunteers needed for Sunday’s Festival of Lights takedown

Volunteers asked to meet at the 49th Parallel Grocery upper parking lot at 9 a.m.

Editorial: Need to look at more than just emergency Malahat bypass

We favour options that offer regular alternatives, not just a crash bypass.

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Most Read