Brian Brindisi — owner of Lakeside Diner in Lacey Township, New Jersey — told the Asbury Park Press there’s no way authorities will stop him from providing indoor service at his establishment despite Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders.
“There’s only two ways they’re going to get me out of here … in handcuffs or a body bag,” Brindisi said Monday, the paper said.
What are the details?
The Press said indoor dining has been taking place at the diner since early June, and municipal court records show Brindisi has been charged 13 times with violating Murphy’s executive order banning indoor dining to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.
For each summons served to Brindisi, which is classified as a disorderly person violation, he faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, the paper said, citing state sentencing guidelines.
Local law enforcement on Friday, acting on behalf of the state, changed the locks on the diner, the Press said — but about two dozen people gathered in the diner’s parking lot Monday morning to show their support for the eatery’s continued pushback against Murphy’s rules.
A couple fans of the diner even took to the sidewalk:
More from the paper:
Shortly after 8 a.m., an officer from the Lacey Township Police Department entered the diner. After a few minutes inside, the officer left. Brindisi said that the officer came in and asked if he was allowing indoor dining, which he said he does every day.
After the officer left, municipal court records show that Brindisi was issued a summons Monday for continuing to allow indoor dining.
Brindisi told the Press he doesn’t plan on paying the fines and hopes they get dropped — and that allowing indoor dining is necessary to keep his business afloat as outdoor dining alone isn’t enough to pay the bills.
“I have mortgages, I have to pay rent here,” he told the New Jersey News Network. “There’s a number of things. We’re getting ready to go into the fall season.” Pointing out the number of outdoor places to sit, he added to the outlet, “How am I supposed to make a living with 10 seats?”