Huntington Beach restaurant owner forbids mask-wearing inside establishment

Basilico’s Pasta e Vino Restaurant in Huntington Beach is known for its delicious pasta and its rebellious owner, Tony Roman.

“I’ve always viewed forcing masks on Americans as a symbol of control and surrender,” says Roman. 

He refuses to allow any of his employees to wear a mask. 

He says, “It’s our rule, if they don’t want to work here, they don’t have to work here.” 

RELATEDStay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

And it’s not just the employees, Roman says if you want to go into his restaurant, you have to take the mask off. 

“For me it's a cultural thing, to see Americans being forced to mask up, it’s almost like a white flag,” says Roman.

His customers seem to agree.

Jeanie Martin says, “We should not be forced to have to wear a mask, especially if I’m healthy.” 

But State Health officials say we are in the middle of a pandemic, one that has killed more than 230,000 people in the U.S.  

Roman’s defiance could end up costing him dearly. The restaurant could lose its liquor license and he could face criminal charges for disobeying Governor Newsom’s orders. 

Roman’s reaction, “I’m calling him out right now. You have this criminal action hanging over our head, file and let’s get it on!”

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.