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Crazy in California: Cafe Charges $5 for Patrons Who Wear Masks

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Just when you think the controversy over wearing face masks can’t get any crazier, Fiddlehead’s Cafe, a cafe in Mendocino California is charging five dollars to anyone who orders while wearing a face mask. Chris Castleman, the cafe’s owner apparently isn’t thrilled with California’s mask policy and is expressing his displeasure once again. According to an article by SFGate:

Just below the large print were two additional notes on the poster that warned guests if they were “caught bragging” about their vaccines “an additional $5 fee” would be added to their bill. The sign claims the fees will be donated to local charities assisting domestic abuse victims. (Previously, Fiddlehead’s Cafe had a second sign on its storefront that’s circulated on social media and read “Get your free COVID-19 vaccine card here!” The sign has since been removed.)

This isn’t the first time that Fiddlehead’s Cafe has adopted a controversial mask policy. Earlier this year, SF Gate reported on another maskless incentive:

In mid-March, Fiddlehead’s Cafe in Mendocino prominently posted a sign in the window of its cafe reading, “Throw your mask(s) in our tr ash bin and receive 50% off your order.”

Unfortunately, a nearby cafe is claiming Castleman’s policy is impacting its business. Meredith Smith, the owner of the Mendocino Cafe told SF Gate:

“What’s happening is that we’re on the same corner,” Smith explained. “I get a lot of feedback directed at him. They think I’m him, we’re across the street from one another.”

A 2020 article from the North Bay Business Journal detailed how Fiddlehead’s got into hot water for ignoring COVID-19 safety precautions:

A Mendocino restaurateur faced with a second $10,000 citation for violating the county’s health order closed up shop over the weekend rather than require his workers to wear facial coverings or otherwise comply with his county’s health order.

Chris Castleman boarded up the windows at Fiddleheads Cafe on Saturday, a day after a Mendocino County code enforcement officer issued a formal notice of violation directing him to cease operations unless he was implementing required measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, Castleman installed strand board in the windows and spray-painted the words, “Closed by order of Mendocino County,” a move which in itself violates the zoning provisions of the town’s designation as a Historical Preservation District.

Is Castleman someone willing to stand up for his beliefs, a person who can’t understand normal thinking, or just an honest American trying to make a few dollars during the coronapocalypse? As far as his five dollar charge, Castleman has defended his decision, commenting ““I’ve been told this whole time that wearing a mask is a small price to pay.” Apparently the cafe’s owner is taking things literally but he has taken the precaution of disabling comments on Yelp regarding his business.

California governor Gavin Newsom has set June 15, 2021 as the date for California to reopen, but according to the SF Gate article, he’s not confident about this and plans on keeping his five dollar mask-wearing policy in place for at least two more months.

What do you think of this policy? Would you be willing to fork over five bucks to wear a face mask or would you take your business elsewhere? Let us know in the comments below.

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Mike Rickard II

Retired bank robber and author of "Wrestling's Greatest Moments", "Laughing All the Way to the Bank Robbery, "Flunky: Pawns and Kings," and "Don't Call Me Bush Beans: The Legend of a Three-Legged Cat." Pro wrestling and hockey fan. Hired gun for several pro wrestling sites and a top 10 YouTube wrestling channel. Available in regular and extra-strength.

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