State orders York Twp. restaurant closed after COVID-19 inspection
The state ordered one York Township restaurant to shut down after it was found in violation of COVID-19 mitigation rules, but the business's owner hopes to fight it.
Corner Stable, located at 2575 S. Queen St., was ordered to close in late February after state inspectors said customers and staff were not abiding by COVID-19 rules, which mandates social distancing and mask-wearing, according to a news release from the state Department of Agriculture.
During the week of Feb. 21, 605 restaurants across the state were inspected. Thirty of the inspections were conducted because of COVID-19-related complaints.
"The department fields complaints related to establishments offering indoor dining, staff not wearing masks as required, ignoring social distancing and otherwise not adhering to public health restrictions to limit person-to-person spread of COVID-19," according to the release.
Typically the Department of Agriculture first sends the restaurant a letter, followed by a surprise inspection.
As per the state website, current mitigation measures for restaurants include:
- Require all customers to wear a mask while entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling through the restaurant or retail food service business (mask may be removed while seated).
- Employees are required to wear masks at all times.
- Provide at least 6 feet between parties at tables or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back.
- Ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas are posted and enforced.
Sandy Bentizegna, the owner of Corner Stable, said she is seeking legal services to fight the state's order against her restaurant.
"I didn't close — because I either open up or I go bankrupt," Bentizegna said. "It really wasn't much of a choice for me."
Bentizegna said Corner Stable violated state rules by allowing patrons to sit at the bar.
Since the order to close, she said, she has not heard or received anything further from the state.
While seeking assistance from an attorney, Bentizegna has not formally filed a lawsuit or pursued legal action.
"I just can't sit back and allow someone to take this freedom from me," Bentizegna said. "I'm going to do whatever my attorney tells me to do."
— Reach Tina Locurto at email@example.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.