A week after a large anti-restriction protest at The Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, the owner of another restaurant in the small hamlet is hoping for a return to a more quiet environment.
Annie Mae Cummer, owner of Mae’s Kitchen, which is located less than two kilometres from The Whistle Stop, said people in Mirror haven’t been happy about being in the spotlight recently.
“We don’t need that – that isn’t what a small town needs. We were known for being peaceful and quiet here. Last weekend we had cops on every corner. It’s disheartening for a community that’s been a very close community,” Cummer said Friday.
“Most of the town’s people are not in favour of this at all. A lot of people you see posting about this are not even from here – they’re from Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary or Toronto. We don’t need that publicity. We just like to have a normal little town.”
Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop, was arrested by RCMP following last weekend’s rally, but has since been released, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Cummer, who is a member of multiple community groups, has lived in Mirror for about nine years. About 500 people live in the hamlet.
Mae’s Kitchen, which has been open for three and a half years, has kept its full staff working throughout the pandemic while adhering to any COVID-19 restrictions.
“As soon as (the government would) announce the restrictions would change, we’d do what we have to do,” said Cummer.
“As soon as they said we have to close for dine-in, the chairs go up on the table that day. You just go with the flow, you don’t fight it.
“It hasn’t really affected us.
“It’s a 24-seat restaurant, so it’s not a huge place. We built our barriers (between booths) as soon as we had to, we put hand sanitizers in and … we’ve always used Lysol wipes to sanitize the menus, chairs and tables.”
Cummer said she believes Mirror “needs” The Whistle Stop in its community.
“I really support the The Whistle Stop to be open, however rules need to be followed,” she said.
“(COVID-19) … is a really bad thing and if people get it, it can be a really bad thing that no one wants. In order to try to drop all that, we need to get some normal lifestyles back where there aren’t crowds everywhere. We need that Whistle Stop open. We just need them to follow rules because there are so many seniors.”