California restaurant defies governor’s orders

MONTAGUE, Calif. —  California Governor Gavin Newsom rolled back reopening plans this week. He said there were too many new COVID cases and indoor activities needed to be shut down again. The owners of one Montague restaurant said they couldn’t shut down their dining room again, and they have no plans to do so.

The Dutchman Restaurant in Montague said it will still allow dine-in customers, despite new statewide restrictions. They said Siskiyou County shouldn’t be lumped in with California’s large population centers. “If you look at the numbers and consider our numbers and our demographics, it just doesn’t make sense,” said owner, Ken Crawford. “So no, it’s not fair,” added owner, Rachel Richmond.

The owners also said they don’t have enough sidewalk space to allow outdoor dining. “We tried that yesterday and it just doesn’t work. You’re right along the main road. People actually ride their bikes on the sidewalk,” said Crawford.

Doing carry-out only dropped the restaurant down to about 15 percent of its normal business, according to the owners. Crawford and Richmond said they are taking coronavirus seriously, but the future of their business is at stake. “We’re sanitizing, constantly sanitizing. After every customer leaves we’re sanitizing the tables, the chairs, the countertops,” said Crawford.

The owners said the Siskiyou County Sheriff came by the restaurant on July 15th, but didn’t force them to close. The Siskiyou County Sheriff  did not return our call for comment.

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