NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — Three Nevada County restaurants are not only defying orders to end dine-in service, but also covering up county public health closure orders posted on their storefront businesses. All three are staying open.
Sergio’s Caffe in Grass Valley one of the three restaurants staying open and continuing to seat patrons indoors.
“It’s an illegal closure, that’s what it is,” owner Sergio Martignago said.
Martignago covered up the Nevada County closure notice posted on the front of his restaurant with another flyer reading in part the closure is a “criminal” act. No patrons seemed to notice the flyer or the closure sign it’s covering as they passed by to walk inside.
“You chose to cover up the closure sign so your patrons can’t see it?” CBS13’s Steve Large asked.
“From my point of view, that’s an illegal closure sign,” Martignago said.
“Why not just keep the county sign up so people can see you guys are defying orders and they can still come if they chose to?” Large asked.
“Because I have nice ambiance inside,” Martignano said.
Customers seemed unaware the restaurant was supposed to be closed. Jeff and Doris Welby ate indoors after no outside seating was available.
“Do you think that you should have been told as patrons that they were ordered closed by the county?” Large asked.
“No. No, I don’t think so,” Jeff Welby said.
“Why is that?” Large said.
“I just think it’s my responsibility with what risk I’m willing to take,” Welby said.
Besides Sergio’s Caffe, Old Town Café in Grass Valley, and Friar Tuck’s Restaurant and Bar in Nevada City are all staying open after being told to close Tuesday by the County Public Health Department for continuing to serve indoors. More than 300 other restaurants in Nevada County have followed state rules.
The fines for staying open started yesterday at $25 a day and double each day. They will continue to go up each day until reaching $1,000 daily fines.