Gourmeltz 90’s Music Bar & Drafthouse will stay open for now, after a judge denied a request for an emergency injunction to force the restaurant to close.
Even after being contacted by the health department officials, Gourmeltz owner Matt Strickland has refused to comply with some provisions of Governor Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 Executive Orders.
As a result, Strickland’s health certification allowing him to operate legally was rescinded, but Gourmeltz remained open. The Attorney General’s office is now bringing a case against Strickland, but they asked the court for an emergency injunction to close the restaurant while the case proceeds.
“The judge denied the Attorney General’s request to grant a temporary injunction and order us to shut down,” states a Friday post on the Gourmeltz Facebook page. “This is a HUGE win! However, it isn’t over. We will have another court date in the near future to prove all of this is unconstitutional and lift these unlawful suspensions.”
Former Congressman Bob Barr (R-Georgia-07) is representing the restaurant. He said in a statement to Fox 5 that if granted, the injunction to close Gourmeltz would have forced the restaurant out of business.
The case has drawn out a community of supporters for the restaurant. “People came from everywhere. They came from Maryland, they came from West Virginia, I mean four hours away, just to come to Gourmeltz and thank me for what I was doing,” Strickland said Monday on The Larry O’Connor Show.
Supporters cheered the judge’s decision on the Stand With Gourmeltz Facebook page, calling for the restaurant to stay open and for other restaurants to join in opposition to mask mandates.
“You don’t even know the hope this gives me for my restaurant in Indianapolis!! Way to fight the good fight,” user Colleen Kenna Roux commented.
The court case is still going forward, with the next court date still unannounced.
In his statement to Fox 5, Barr said, “We look forward to a further hearing in the near future at which time we will have full opportunity to establish the unconstitutionality of what the Governor and the Commonwealth officials are doing.”
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