February 5, 2021

Restaurants Defy Covid Shutdowns to Stay in Business 

  • Flyover Country

By: Amy Jo Underwood

In Brief:

Restaurants across the country are choosing to defy government orders in order to keep their businesses alive. While local authorities around the country have been demanding for months that restaurants follow certain protocols, some business owners have chosen to operate in spite of the restrictions. 

The Background:

Nearly a year after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants are still being asked to comply with numerous restrictions that threaten to put them out of business. However, some business owners are refusing to comply with orders that could cost the jobs of their employees. 

According to the Washington Post, it’s a “revolt.” 

One Michigan business owner stated that if he was to comply with the takeout-only restriction, he and his employees would have no home, car, or job. He stated, “I’m not holding a gun to anyone’s head and making them come here,” noting that people come to his restaurant of their own free will, understanding any potential health risks. Other business owners have joined together under a movement entitled “Stand Up Michigan.” 

Two restaurants in Washington have collectively accumulated over $780,000 in fines for their choice to allow indoor dining in defiance of the ban in the state. The restaurants are still following social distance protocols and additional sanitizing practices, but have accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

In several counties, local authorities have decided to not enforce the COVID-19 restrictions. In Illinois, a state district attorney has said that he will not enforce the governor’s restrictions, stating that the governor did not have authority to issue such decrees. In rural California, several sheriffs have stated that they will not enforce the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on businesses. In Pasadena, CA, the City Council voted to disregard the Los Angeles County directive to suspend outdoor dining. 

Notable Quotes:


“We need to stand up as conservatives and as Republicans, we need to stand up for our constitutional rights and say enough is enough … Don’t be a sheep.” - Sheriff Rob Snaza, Lewis County, WA, in support of Spiffy’s Restaurant & Bakery in Chehalis


“It’s been mentally and emotionally more than anyone should ever have to deal with.” - Paula Vrakas, owner of The Roxy in Encinitas and Denver

What do you think?
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