A poster on the window at Fiddlehead’s Café in Mendocino, CA warns customers that they be charged an extra five dollars if they place their order while wearing a mask. The poster also states that customers “caught bragging” about their COVID-19 vaccines will have “an additional $5 fee” to their bill and that the money would be donated to “local charities assisting domestic abuse victims.”
The owner of the café, Chris Castleman, says he put up the sign “because the pro-mask people have been damaging our country for too long. It’s time to end the mandates and start focusing on reversing the collateral damage done by these government restrictions.”
“Customers either love it or hate it,” he said via email. “There are people who refuse to pay it; I guess a $5 donation to charity is too much for them. Others have gladly paid it knowing that it goes to a good cause. I don’t force anyone to pay, I give them the freedom of choice, which seems to be a foreign concept in these parts of the country.”
Another sign posted at the restaurant in April read: “THROW YOUR MASK(S) IN OUR TRASH BIN AND RECEIVE 50% OFF YOUR ORDER.”.
In June 2020, Castleman temporarily closed the restaurant and boarded it up after receiving a notice of a $10,000 citation from county health officials, according to the Press Democrat. A message written on the plywood read: “Closed by order of Mendocino County.”
Mendocino County is in the yellow tier for COVID-19 reopening, meaning restaurants can operate indoors at a maximum of 50% capacity, and masks are required when diners are not eating or drinking.