Northern California restaurant’s anti-mask stance prompts pushback

A Placerville restaurant that is encouraging diners not to wear masks is going to receive a warning and possibly a shutdown order, county health officials said.

The Apple Bistro, on Highway 50 near the Apple Hill tourist destination, has posted a sign at its door stating: “No social conditioning. No oxygen deprivation mask. No latex dirty germ spreader,” Sacramento TV station KOVR reported last week.

The owner told KOVR he disagrees with El Dorado County regulations aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 and is not enforcing them.

A spokesperson for the county health department said the restaurant will be warned this week and, if complaints continue, its permit to operate may be suspended.

El Dorado County is not on the state’s coronavirus watch list, although an increase in cases in its South Lake Tahoe region prompted an emergency meeting of county supervisors.

As of July 20, the Google listing described Apple Bistro as a public bathroom. 

After the restaurant’s stance made the news, the description on its Google listing was changed from restaurant to “public bathroom,” and review sites have received a flurry of notices for it, both positive and negative.

Apple Bistro’s online menu now includes, alongside its signature $16 apple pie, a copy of the anti-mask sign for $10.

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