Washington restaurant that flouted coronavirus rules is fined, slapped with restraining order
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A restaurant in Washington state has been hit with a restraining order and a six-figure fine for flouting COVID-19 restrictions and serving customers indoors for nearly a month, according to a new report.
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On Monday, the state Attorney General’s Office issued the temporary order to the owners of Stuffy’s II Restaurant in Longview, officials confirmed to FOX Business.
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The owners were also issued a citation for “willful serious violations for having inside dining each day for seven days Dec. 22-28,” totaling $126,000, according to Dina Lorraine, the state Department of Labor and Industries spokesperson.
The restaurant reopened for indoor dining on Dec. 5 despite orders prohibiting them from doing so, according to a Facebook post.
On Nov. 16, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statewide stay safe–stay healthy order, which required restaurants to close their indoor dining areas. In order to try and stem the recent surge in cases, restaurants are now temporarily limited to outdoor dining, take-out, delivery and drive-thru services only.
PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT OWNERS DEFY INDOOR RESTRICTIONS
Just last week, Inslee extended the order, set to expire on Jan. 11, in order to keep residents safe and ensure "health care system and hospital capacity."
"We understand the profound impact COVID is having on our health care system, families and businesses, but I am heartened by the number of Washingtonians who continue to do the right thing," Inslee said in a statement.
However, due to the latest restrictions, the restaurant said it wasn't able to cover overhead costs and had to lay off some of its staff right before the holidays.
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"We have made the decision over closing that we are fighting," the restaurant wrote in the Facebook post. "It has come down to the point where we shut our doors after today and call it quits after 32 years of proudly serving the community, or we fight."
The owners are now set to appear in court Thursday to address the temporary restraining order, according to the Daily News.
However, the owners’ granddaughter Skai Hogue told the outlet that the restaurant is working with a lawyer who has handled similar cases. Stuffy's plans to seek a continuance in court in order to add the lawyer to the case, the outlet reported.
Representatives for Stuffy's II did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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