Red Bluff restaurant and bar goes back to take-out

Owner of the Palomino Room, Carlos Zapata, says business was booming on Friday when he reopened for dine-in.

Posted: May 6, 2020 6:17 PM
Updated: May 7, 2020 8:20 AM

RED Bluff, Calif - Business boomed for a Red Bluff restaurant that opened its doors, defying the governor’s stay-at-home order, but it didn’t last long.

Owner of the Palomino Room, Carlos Zapata, says business was booming on Friday when he reopened for dine-in.

“You know, we did what we felt we had to do to take a stand and we had an awesome, it was an outstanding weekend, we were packed,” says Zapata.

Since Friday, Red Bluff police gave him two citations.

“No, I’m not going to jail, no we didn’t get fined, we got a citation and that will be determined in the courts,” says Zapata.

The owner tells Action News Now he got one citation the night he opened and another one the next day. However, that’s not the reason he went back to doing take-out only.

“ABC [California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control] threatened to take, revoke our license if we stayed open,” says Zapata.

Action News Now checked with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and found the following statement posted to their website regarding businesses that choose to stay open during this time:

The department has received numerous complaints in the past six weeks that licensees have opened their premises in defiance of these orders. The department has investigated all of these complaints, and for those found to be so operating, the department has contacted these licensees and advised them to close immediately.

The department is advising businesses to only do take-out, no dine-in eating or drinking, post signs telling people only limited service, and keep people from hanging out in the area.

Action News Now spoke to people who said all restaurants should follow the governor’s order and open when the state says it’s okay to open, but others say it’s time to get back to business.

“I think it should be left up to the individual, if you feel comfortable going in and eating that’s your decision,” says Diane Rodelo, who lives in Red Bluff.

“People are desperate, people have bills to pay, people have families to feed and they have to do what they have to do,” says Esther Loera. “If that means opening, but as long as you take precautions not to infect people around you.”

Zapata tells Action News Now he’s sticking to take-out for now and is doing well, but he’s in the process of taking legal action against the state.

The Palomino Room tells Action News Now they chose an organization to donate all of their proceeds from their reopening on Friday.

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A cold front has moved over northern California on this day before Thanksgiving, and it brought light rain and snow showers to the higher terrain, gusty wind and cooler air for all. Thanksgiving will still be breezy, but also mild and pleasant.
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