The owner of a restaurant in Gaithersburg, Maryland, wrote a controversial post on social media, telling customers that he will not require servers to wear face masks.
The deleted post on Grill on Flower Hill’s Facebook page read in part: “Let me be very clear … my staff will not wear face masks when I work here on the grill. If it bothers you please eat elsewhere and try finding something that is more important to take time off, such as volunteering at a nursing home or soup kitchen. “
The owner wrote the post in response to a customer complaint to the Montgomery County Health Department stating that restaurant staff did not wear masks and that some customers were sitting too close.
“Whoever you are who filed the complaint, you have to take a look in the mirror and try to find a real meaning in your life,”
In a phone interview with News4, the owner, who did not want to be identified, said he received death threats in response to his message.
He said he feels that masks are bad for human health and that they are uncomfortable to wear.
He also said he gave his staff the opportunity to wear masks, but they all chose not to wear them.
Montgomery County requires people to wear face masks in public.
The county health department said it sent an inspector to the flower bar at Flower Hill last Thursday, reminding the restaurant of the rules.
But the county says it has since received more complaints about servers that still do not wear masks.
As of Monday, the restaurant is closed. County officials say they did not force the owner to turn off.
The owner said he hopes to open again on Thursday and told News4 he has no plans to change his stance on masks.
Some former customers told News4 that they should eat elsewhere.
“Now that I know they’re not going to wear masks, I don’t know that I trust to eat there – even when everyone doesn’t have to wear masks anymore. If they just don’t care,” Susan Gunster said.
“It’s as easy as anyone doing their part, and I would feel safer when I go there. Now that everyone isn’t, it’s like we’re back in the beginning.
So I’m just as inclined to stay at home as I was then, even more now, to see posts like that, “said Steven Schlee.
The health department says it plans to send a new inspector on Thursday.
Anyone who knowingly violates the Master’s order in Montgomery County is guilty of a misdemeanor and may have a year in jail and / or a $ 5,000 fine.