California Restaurant Faces 30-Day Closure for Violating Lockdown Orders

By Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.
May 11, 2022 Updated: May 11, 2022

ROSEVILLE, Calif.—A restaurant owner that defied COVID-19 lockdown orders amid the pandemic in 2020 is now being told by the state to close his doors for 30 days.

Matthew Oliver, owner of House of Oliver, in Placer County in Northern California, received notice in April from the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control that a violation filed in December 2020 for keeping his restaurant open would be excused if he agreed to a 30-day license suspension.

“We have refused,” Oliver told The Epoch Times, while claiming he violated lockdown orders by keeping his restaurant open during the pandemic to provide for his employees.

Meanwhile, a local casino was able to operate freely throughout the pandemic while largely publicizing a New Year’s party without repercussions, according to Oliver.

Oliver said the state went after him for being “loud and vocal in opposition to the governor’s illegal mandates” on social media.

Oliver’s restaurant is one of 234 businesses throughout the state that received a notice of COVID-19 violations in 2020 and 2021.

However, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), whose jurisdiction covers Placer County, said he speculates Oliver’s restaurant is politically targeted by the state for openly criticizing the lockdowns and Newsom during the pandemic.

“This is an example of the governor using state power to try to punish someone for opposing him politically, it is not the sort of thing that should ever happen in a free and democratic society,” Kiley told The Epoch Times.

Kiley further called on Newsom and Alcohol Beverage Control Director Eric Hirata to terminate Oliver’s penalty for violating the state’s pandemic health orders in a May 11 letter while citing Placer County had better COVID-19 case outcomes than most of the state.

“Let’s move on,” Kiley said. “Businesses suffered enough over the last two years. There’s no point in being vindictive and continuing to hit them with fines, suspensions, and shutdown orders.”

It is uncertain whether more businesses will receive a 30-day settlement offer to offset their violations.

The governor’s office and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control were not immediately available for comment.

Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.