By Anna Giles

EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — A Placerville restaurant openly violating public health rules is getting a mix of backlash and support.

Sign posted outside Apple Bistro in Placerville.

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There’s a sign encouraging people not to wear masks and gloves in front of the Apple Bistro. The owner said he disagrees with county health rules, so he’s not implementing them.

The sign outside Apple Bistro’s front door says “no social conditioning” and “no oxygen deprivation mask,” followed by “this may not be for you.” Restaurants in El Dorado County are supposed to be enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing and could face repercussions for flouting the rules.

“I am a non-mask wearer unless I have to,” said Tracy, who was visiting the Apple Bistro Friday and did not want to give her last name.

Customers told CBS13 the staff inside were not wearing masks. The violation of county rules is stirring up both bad reviews and people cheering them on.

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“If you don’t want to go to a place, don’t go. The worst thing you can do is pull other people into it just because you’re upset,” said Jimmy, who was visiting the Apple Bistro Friday and did not want to give his last name.

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People who went inside the store Friday claim to have different experiences.

“We walked in with our masks on and they didn’t ask us anything,” Ryan Gomes said.

But one woman says employees pressured her to take her mask off or leave.

“I was very rudely greeted,” said Maggie. “He asked me if I had seen the sign.”

Maggie said she’s been coming to the bistro for 10 years, but this time she left without her order.

“I was definitely not welcome to stay with my mask on,” she said.

A spokesperson for the El Dorado County Health Department said they’ve gotten close to 20 complaints about Apple Bistro since March. They’ve already made visits to the restaurant but now things get serious. They said they will visit again next week to give a warning and then if complaints continue, they may decide to suspend the bistro’s permit.

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The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors had a meeting last week where they discussed businesses like this who flagrantly violate the rules. They’re cracking down in hopes of avoiding more COVID-19 spikes that could put them on the county watch list.