Café imposes $5 fine for customers who wear masks

  • A café in California is charging its customers $5 when they wear a mask at the establishment. 
  • The café owner said he and his customer base don’t believe in mask-wearing.
  • The collected fees will be donated to the café owner’s chosen charity. 

Customers at a California cafe will be charged $5 when they dine at the establishment wearing masks. 

On Sunday, the owner of Fiddleheads Cafe in Mendocino, Calif., put up a sign to notify customers of the additional charges, NBC News reported.

“I don’t think $5 to charity is too much to ask from mask wearing customers who claim to care so much about the community they live in,” Chris Castleman, the cafe owner, told the news outlet.

Castleman will give the collected fees to his chosen charity, a local domestic abuse organization called the Project Sanctuary. But a new charity will enter the rotation in two weeks, the NBC News reported.

“It’s about time that the proponents of these ineffective government measures start paying for the collateral damage they have collectively caused,” said Castleman.

The cafe owner announced the dining fines after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a guideline allowing vaccinated Americans to go maskless in most settings. 

When the pandemic started, California was one of the first states to order a shelter-in-place policy, which severely affected most of the state’s small businesses. Some of the country’ first reported COVID-19 cases in late February and early March 2020 were from the West Coast. 

In June, when the local government ordered mandatory mask-wearing for everyone, Castleman was forced to temporarily close his cafe. 

“The government shut everything down,” the cafe owner said. “Everyone wearing a mask is complicit.”

Castleman told NBC News that he did follow state orders that time, and provided only curbside pick-up service. However, he was against the mandatory mask-wearing policy for servers and other workers, according to NBC News.

Castleman revealed to the news outlet that he doesn’t believe in mask-wearing and that the cafe’s customer base is also against it. But Castleman said he is aware that some people are really angry at them. 

“It’s their choice,” he said. “They can choose what business they support. They can go to any other business in my county, state.”

In March, Castleman reportedly offered a 50 percent discount for café customers who discarded their masks. 

Source: The Hill

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