Maine restaurant owner defies state order, loses health license

A Maine restaurant owner who defied the state’s stay-at-home order and opened to dine-in customers, has lost his health license and has been summoned by the state. The Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages found Rick Savage was not compliant with Gov. Mills executive order when he reopened the Sunday River Brewing Company Friday afternoon. The bureau confirms to WMTW the Department of Health and Human Services suspended the restaurant’s health license and could take further action if Savage reopens on Saturday without a health license. The suspension automatically suspends that restaurant’s liquor license.Earlier this week, Gov. Janet Mills released a four-stage plan for reopening the economy as well as extending the stay-at-home order through the month of May.While restaurants are allowed to offer takeout, curbside pickup and delivery, dine-in service is not allowed.The reopening of restaurants is part of phase 2 in June, according to the governor’s plan.Savage made headlines Thursday night on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” where he talked about reopening his restaurant for dine-in service.Savage told Carlson during the interview that his restaurant is large enough to maintain proper social distancing to keep customers safe. Savage began letting people into his restaurant at about noon after dozens of people lined up outside. He originally planned to open at 4 p.m.”If someone wants to come in with a mask and gloves and a snowsuit on, I don’t care. If they want to sit outside, I don’t care. I’ll take the stuff to your house. We don’t care, we just want to be open,” Savage said.Savage said he has 6-foot spacing inside the restaurant, along with a deck and patio.Violations of the governor’s order are punishable as a misdemeanor crime.Oxford County Sheriff Christopher Wainwright issued a statement on the situation saying, “As in any situation where there is a potential or alleged violation of law, which includes violations of the Executive Orders, for which law enforcement is obligated to enforce, we will investigate reports of violations and take the appropriate action indicated by our investigative findings or refer the complaint to the appropriate state or local administrative licensing agency.”Wainwright said his agency’s focus will continue to be on providing emergency services to residents of Oxford County.

A Maine restaurant owner who defied the state’s stay-at-home order and opened to dine-in customers, has lost his health license and has been summoned by the state. The Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages found Rick Savage was not compliant with Gov. Mills executive order when he reopened the Sunday River Brewing Company Friday afternoon. The bureau confirms to WMTW the Department of Health and Human Services suspended the restaurant’s health license and could take further action if Savage reopens on Saturday without a health license. The suspension automatically suspends that restaurant’s liquor license.

Earlier this week, Gov. Janet Mills released a four-stage plan for reopening the economy as well as extending the stay-at-home order through the month of May.

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While restaurants are allowed to offer takeout, curbside pickup and delivery, dine-in service is not allowed.

The reopening of restaurants is part of phase 2 in June, according to the governor’s plan.

Savage made headlines Thursday night on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” where he talked about reopening his restaurant for dine-in service.

Savage told Carlson during the interview that his restaurant is large enough to maintain proper social distancing to keep customers safe.

Savage began letting people into his restaurant at about noon after dozens of people lined up outside. He originally planned to open at 4 p.m.

“If someone wants to come in with a mask and gloves and a snowsuit on, I don’t care. If they want to sit outside, I don’t care. I’ll take the stuff to your house. We don’t care, we just want to be open,” Savage said.

Savage said he has 6-foot spacing inside the restaurant, along with a deck and patio.

Violations of the governor’s order are punishable as a misdemeanor crime.

Oxford County Sheriff Christopher Wainwright issued a statement on the situation saying, “As in any situation where there is a potential or alleged violation of law, which includes violations of the Executive Orders, for which law enforcement is obligated to enforce, we will investigate reports of violations and take the appropriate action indicated by our investigative findings or refer the complaint to the appropriate state or local administrative licensing agency.”

Wainwright said his agency’s focus will continue to be on providing emergency services to residents of Oxford County.