North Sound restaurant also defying COVID-19 restrictions

VIDEO: Restaurant in North Sound defies governor's ban on indoor dining

GOLD BAR, Wash. — A restaurant in the North Sound is the latest business to defy the governor’s restrictions and open for indoor dining.

The owners of the Mountain View Diner in Gold Bar say they are just trying to provide for their families, and that they are doing what they can to survive.

On this first day of a new year, business was brisk at the Mountain View Diner.

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Many customers appeared to be doing takeout. But even from across Highway 2, it was easy to see others were dining inside, a violation of the governor’s COVID-19 order.

But when asked why, a woman who identified herself as the day manager refused to say.

“Ma’am, we’re asking that you leave the property, please,” she said. “We have no statement and no more words than I gave you.”

What she gave us was a statement. It says they are open because they can no longer “sit by and wait to lose our business and homes.” Many of them have “no other income,” the statement said.

Earlier this week, Chopper 7 was over a rally in Lewis County in support of Spiffy’s Restaurant in Chehalis. Its owner has already racked up some $114,000 in fines for defying the “no indoor dining” order.

“We’re fighting for our constitutional rights here,” said Rob Grant, Spiffy’s general manager. “And we would like you all to please stand with us.”

“Follow the rules, like everybody else,” says Jason Theriault, a business owner who lives in Sultan. “Get a GoFundMe. Appeal to your client base but do not bring them into a restaurant.”

Theriault says what they are doing is risking the health of the very clients they need to survive.

“Because of blind ignorance,” he said.

But, he was asked, what about the fear of losing what they’ve built?

“A lot of businesses are going to go under,” he said. “But what right do they have above all the other people that are suffering?”

Theriault says he was motivated to speak up by the activism of his daughter, Sophie, killed in a car accident just a month ago. She was just 20 years old.