Moda closing down

The photo was posted to Telegram Saturday, May 31, and removed the next day.

Goya Dmytryshchak

A Seddon restaurant accused of hosting protestors for a sit-down meal during the May COVID-19 lockdown has announced it is closing down.

Moda Kitchen and Bar allegedly hosted a group of protestors on Saturday, May 29, after a rally about Melbourne‚Äôs seven day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown.

At the time, police said they responded to reports of a group of people not wearing masks, but found no one inside the venue about 4.30pm.

A photograph of attendees was posted to encrypted communication app Telegram with the caption: ‘Moda restaurant in Seddon. Getting on with business. Great hanging out with fellow freedom fighters.’ The post was deleted the next day.

On Friday, Moda announced on Facebook that the restaurant “will be closing for good on 14th August, 2021”.

The post attracted numerous responses and Moda replied to one commenter:

“Running a business is hard work and with or without the unlawful restrictions we were ready for a change. We are not sad at all. We are excited and looking forward to having a ‘normal’ life with the kids for a while.”

A Moda representative told Star Weekly the restaurant’s closure after five years was unrelated to the protestors’ meal incident.

“No, no, that’s got nothing to do [with it], we just ran out of lease,” he said.

“The lease expired.”

He said the lockdowns and mask-wearing rules had not affected his business.

“To be honest, we’ve never been so busy.”