Midtown Bistro welcomes gender-neutral washrooms

Vernon restaurant installs some creative signs on two washroom facilities, available for all

There was nowhere for dads to change babies. If somebody was using the men’s room, there would be another man standing outside waiting his turn and not using the women’s washroom.

Kelly Lacroix thought simply: ‘It’s 2019. It doesn’t really matter which toilet you use.”

With that, Lacroix – who owns and operates Vernon’s Midtown Bistro on 30th Avenue with her husband, Greg Stefiuk – installed gender-neutral bathroom signs on the two doors leading to her two washrooms, each equipped with only one toilet.

“I figure in this day and age, it really shouldn’t matter,” said Lacroix. “I just felt it was just more gender neutral to everybody and would make everybody feel more comfortable.

“I had two bathrooms going all of the time and there were lineups. Two bathrooms, each with only one toilet, so I have two toilets with two doors so, kind of with it being 2019, use whichever toilet you like. Just please wash your hands.”

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Those last five words adorn the bottom of each sign. Lacroix enlisted the help of her computer-savvy brother-in-law, Michael McLaughlin, to come up with the sign designs. He did and had them printed locally at Printech.

Since being installed last week, Lacroix said they’ve been a hit with her customers. And competitors, too.

“There have been lots of positive comments,” she said. “I have lots of transgender friends, and the LGBTQ community is really, really big, and you just have to make everybody feel comfortable.

“It’s kind of funny. Two other restaurants have phoned me and asked me where I got the signs. My brother-in-law is getting them made for them, too.”

Because the building is old, the washroom walls won’t support the weight of a change table for customers with babies. Lacroix has a chair and some nice pads to help parents clean and change their kids.


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