'More power to him': Suisun City restaurant remains open, could face charges for defying state orders

Wayne Freedman Image
ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Solano Co. restaurant could face charges for defying health order
Suisun City restaurant Maverick Barbecue has stayed open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, despite county and state orders, garnering a mixture of respect and criticism.

SUISUN CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Maverick Barbecue has the distinction of being either the most popular restaurant in Suisun City, or the most reviled.

It is certainly busy, and hardly a haven for the mask-wearing multitudes.

RELATED: Defiant Napa restaurant offers in-person dining, calls health order 'unjust'

"Go in at your own risk," said Linda Bralier, a frequent customer.

"We shouldn't live in a nanny state. If you are that afraid of COVID-19, go home," she said.

Inside, we found a lunchtime crowd packed shoulder-to-shoulder in clear violation of state and Solano County's coronavirus pandemic guidelines.

"More power to him," continued Bralier.

VIDEO: CA restaurant owner claims to find 'loophole' to remain open

Denis Xenos, the owner of Denis' Country Kitchen in Lodi, California, claims to have found a loophole to legally keep his small business open against the state's stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

Owner Ned Ayyoub declined multiple requests for an on-camera interview. He did say he is just trying to stay in business, and referred ABC7 to a lawyer, who never did get in touch.

Ayyoub cites constitutional rights. A statement hangs on the darkened window just below his red neon 'open' sign.

"I have no problem with it whatsoever," said another customer who preferred to not give his name. "I had the virus already and you know what? No one here has caught it."

Others, however, do have problems with Maverick Barbecue. Most restaurant owners in the Heritage Park Shopping Center preferred to not talk on camera because they didn't want to make trouble. The owner of a Thai restaurant did, reluctantly.

RELATED: East Bay restaurant defies outdoor dining ban, pays thousands in fines to help employees

"Everyone has to cut back and struggle and it does not help that they are running business as usual," said the woman named Lisa. She described cutbacks, too many take-outs, and a business scraping for every penny while a few yards away, the restaurant and bar at Maverick siphons customers.

"I feel they need to be fined or closed down. I need help. I don't know what to do," Lisa said.

Later, Solano County told us it enforces COVID-19 codes with warnings only. Maverick has had at least three of them.

Late today, the State's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control confirmed it has observed violations at Maverick and will be contacting the Solano County District Attorney's Office.

Meantime, Maverick remains open and busy.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here