Two restaurants in the Inland Empire reopen, defying governor's order

Two restaurants in the Inland Empire defied Governor Newsom’s order and reopened for dine-in service. 

The banner at the Original Pancake House in Norco reads open, and in fact it’s the restaurant’s second day of business. 

Diners could come inside, sit down and order all the dishes they’ve been missing.

The food might be the same, but plenty has changed. Including the way the booths are cleaned after each guest, and the tables with the American flags are off limits.

“It was very exciting, we saw on the news how they’re spreading the customers apart, so it made us feel comfortable to come in and dine in,” said Norco resident Krista Derosier. 

The owners decided to reopen because their customers demanded it. 

“Getting the support from the Norco City Council and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department you know supporting businesses, they understand what businesses need to do what they can right now,” said  Megan Kikugawa with the Original Pancake House.

RELATED: Restaurant in Norco reopens for dine-in service, defying state order
Not far away, in the same plaza is Sports Nut Pizza. They have plenty of to-go orders but they are not offering dine-in services yet. They say business is down 60% to 70%. 

The difference between the two establishments… the restaurant serves alcohol or did in normal times. The threat of losing their liquor license was enough to keep the dining room of Sport Nut Pizza dark.

“I cannot find anything that says black and white, if you do this these are the consequences.  It’s says the mandate from the state is no dine in,” stated Diane Collins with Sport Nut Pizza. 

The restaurant at the Hidden Valley golf course also reopened the same day as Pancake House.

On the door to Villa Amalfi, the sign reads ‘if you’re scared stay at home’. And Nicole Hansen will admit she is scared but not of coronavirus.

“I have people that have worked for my family for 25 years and they have families to feed. There’s a lot of things to be scared about besides getting my license away.  Of course that’s a factor, but there’s a lot of things to be scared about,” Hansen said. 

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