PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — A showdown between restaurant owners and state inspectors was caught on camera Thursday in Placerville. Apple Bistro is one of a few restaurants in El Dorado County that has defied state orders and kept their doors open.
But as of Monday, the county is allowing restaurants to open with indoor dining.
On Thursday, the owners of Apple Bistro were seen in a Facebook live video going head-to-head with inspectors from Cal/OSHA and California Highway Patrol Officers. The owners told inspectors to get off of their property.
“You guys will have to kill us first before we roll over,” says one of the owners. “That’s how firmly we stand, we will take you guys to court personally.”
The video was taken by Mandi Rodriguez from “Reopen El Dorado County.” She is also running for city council. Rodriguez says she’s been a supporter of the restaurant’s stance on staying open.
“When I got there the CHP was there and Cal/OSHA was there, and so I came inside and I recorded right away,” Rodriguez said.
The video shows a Cal/OSHA inspector telling the owners of the cafe they have a warrant from a judge to do an inspection. The CHP tells CBS13 officers were there “on safety standby” assisting the Cal/OSHA Inspectors.
In the video, the owners deny both agencies entry.
“These people are standing up for their constitutional rights,” said Rodriguez.
The restaurant was slapped with orders taking away county health permit. They were ordered to comply with COVID-19 restrictions or close, and still, they stayed open. But Rodriguez says the restaurant hasn’t seen state inspectors at the restaurant in two and a half years.
CBS13 asked CAL/OSHA why they visited the restaurant just this week.
The agency responded with the following statement:
“Cal/OSHA has been closely monitoring establishments across the state to protect public health and safety. This visit was part of the ongoing work of the Enforcement Taskforce created by the Governor earlier this summer to stop the spread of COVID-19 and hold businesses who endanger public health and safety accountable. While we cannot share specifics of active investigations, we remain committed to using every tool available to us to protect Californians.”
They did not respond when CBS13 asked why this was the first visit, months into the pandemic. The video shows both CHP and Cal/OSHA Inspectors eventually leaving, and CBS13 was told no inspection was done.
The owners of the restaurant didn’t want to speak to CBS13 about the confrontation. Rodriguez says the owners have no plans to close their doors, even if El Dorado County is put back on tighter restrictions.