LINCOLN, CA – After receiving numerous complaints from the city of Lincoln, the downtown restaurant Awful Annie’s was closed on Monday, leading residents to speculate what happened. Rumors online persisted that the business had been shut down by the city for numerous COVID-19 violation complaints and serving food indoors while the state of California is on an indoor dining lockdown, issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Lincoln Police Department said that’s not true.
“There have been many rumors regarding the City shutting down Awful Annie’s. This is in no way true,” the department said in a statement last night. “The city received numerous complaints, from both residents and different restaurant owners, that Awful Annie’s was open and serving customers inside, in violation of the Governor’s current health orders. This was causing an issue relative to unfair business practices because the complaining businesses felt punished for following the order.”
Prior to sending any warning of the violation, the city made contact with the business owner to offer education and support to assist the business owner with getting into compliance. In fact, during the week before Thanksgiving, the city officials offered to close roads, purchase tents, heaters, and tables/chairs to allow the restaurant to provide service outside. The city extended an invitation to come up with a plan until after Thanksgiving.
“The owner of Awful Annie’s indicated they were grateful for this support and would be providing the City with the brand of tent they would like the City to purchase for them. This never occurred because the owners of the restaurant did not provide the information to the City,” the department said. ” It is the City’s understanding that unfortunately one of the restaurant’s staff members was determined to be positive, so the restaurant had to close under the Cal/OSHA COVID regulations, and that the restaurant should be re-opening.”
The City has not fined or required any restaurant or business to close for violating Newsom’s lockdown orders.
“The city certainly understands that there are multiple views regarding the current situation,” the department said. “There are residents that demand harsh enforcement of the current state regulations and there are residents that demand no enforcement. The City receives complaints from both sides of the issue multiple times per day. Based on all of these concerns and points of view, the City treads very lightly and primarily focuses on providing education and support through fi nding ways in which the City can assist businesses with developing solutions for the challenges they face.”