Ten Berks County restaurants were ordered closed last week for defying Gov. Tom Wolf’s temporary COVID-19 mitigation order prohibiting dine-in service, according to a Department of Agriculture press release issued Tuesday afternoon.
Berks had 10 of the 40 restaurants in the state that the ag department said were ordered closed for defying the governor’s order. Three are in Kutztown.
Pennsylvania officials warned last week that those defying the order could be fined and ordered closed.
These were the establishments listed by the Department of Agriculture:
• Deluxe Restaurant, 2295 Lancaster Pike, Cumru Township.
• Westy's Bar & Grill, 279 W. State St., Tilden Township.
• Frank's Pizza, 2550 Perkiomen Ave., Mount Penn.
• Juke Box Cafe, 535 S. Reading Ave., Boyertown.
• Seasons Cafe, Reading, 15 Village Center Drive, Flying Hills.
• Mad Dogs, 100 N. Constitution Blvd., Kutztown.
• Quality Shoppe, 45 Constitution Blvd., Kutztown.
• Cloud 9 Cafe, 84 Commerce Drive., Spring Township.
• Letterman's Diner, 242 W. Main St., Kutztown
• Oley Turnpike Dairy Diner, 6213 Oley Turnpike Road, Oley.
Wolf issued a temporary order earlier this month, closing indoor dining, gyms and limiting indoor gatherings to a maximum capacity of 10 people.
The order will remain in effect until Jan. 4. Wolf said the order was to stem the rising tide of COVID-19 cases, citing academic studies that show that COVID spreads in restaurant settings.
A representative of Mad Dogs said there were no problems at their location and that no one had made any attempts to close the business.
Owner Anna Burkman at Deluxe Resturant said she intends to keep the business open.
"I am still open and operating," Burkman said. "It is my God-given right."
A man identifying himself only as Westy, owner of Westy's, made similar comments and called the governor's order illegal.
"They did not shut us down," he said. "We are slam packed."
Attempts to reach the other locations on the list Tuesday night were not successful. Jukebox and Seasons had answering machines with messages concerning the hours of operation.
State officials said though most establishments in the commonwealth were following the orders, some were not.
A county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions can be found on the Department of Agriculture’s website.
The data will be updated weekly, covering the previous week.
There was only one compliance closure statewide and one warning for the week ending Dec. 13, then last week statewide numbers took off with 40 businesses ordered closed and 180 others warned.
The Department of Agriculture Bureau of Food Safety inspected 493 establishments between Dec. 14 and 20. Of those inspections, 89 were complaint-driven and 84 were specific to COVID-19 complaints.
Consumers with general food safety complaints or concerns about noncompliance for COVID-19 mitigation can file a complaint online.