PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — Another El Dorado County restaurant was ordered to shut down after flagrantly refusing to follow mask and social distancing rules.
The county environmental agency suspended the health permit of Danette’s Brick Oven Pub this week.
This is the third suspension in just weeks, and now the restaurants are teaming up to take on the county, according to Cherie Baldridge, the owner of Café El Dorado.
“They haven’t arrested me yet, so what are they going to do, arrest all three of us?” Baldridge said.
Baldridge has been outspoken for months about standing together. She said she has dozens of supporters who physically block her parking lot so that state and county enforcers can’t come inside.
“All I have to do is make a phone call if I feel like someone is going to be there to do something and I’ll have the posse there,” Baldridge said.
By refusing to obey mask-wearing and social distancing rules, the Café El Dorado, Apple Bistro and Danette’s Brick Oven Pub are racking up major fines daily. Café El Dorado and Apple Bistro owe more than $6,000 after 14 days of defiance.
“It’s unfortunate that it came to this, to this place. This is not the action wanted to take as a county,” said Carla Hass, an El Dorado County spokesperson.
The restaurants aren’t paying these fines yet. According to the county environmental agency, a bill is sent each month. If it’s not paid in 90 days, it goes to a collection agency.
But for the businesses who feel backed by their people, the fines and enforcement are just empty threats.
“I think it’s a lot of scare tactics there’s really nothing they can do. The sheriff won’t back them up,” Baldridge said,
According to the county, there is a way for these businesses to object to their permit being suspended. They can request a hearing to show why that shouldn’t have happened. So far, none have taken action.