BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – A Jackson County judge has ordered the closure of a suburban Kansas City restaurant following its owner’s continued disregard for a mask warrant meant to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Judge Orders Suburban Kansas City Restaurant To Cease Operations Over Mask Dispute | Regional
Earlier this month, Judge James Kanatazar ordered the temporary closure of Rae’s Cafe in Blue Springs after owner Amanda Wohletz ignored a health department shutdown order due to repeated violations of the mask requirement county interior.
Judge Jennifer Phillips on Thursday banned the restaurant from operating, dismissing Wohletz’s argument over medical exemptions and that the restaurant could circumvent the mandate by operating as a private club. The judge also ordered Rae’s Cafe to cease operations until it obtains a valid food permit.
On September 3, Jackson County health officials and sheriff’s deputies ordered Wohletz to shut down because the mask’s warrant was being ignored. But the business continued to operate, and her food license was suspended at that time. Wohletz reopened as a private club, which charged customers $ 1 to join and banned masks.
Wohletz had said she and all of her employees were medically exempt from the mask warrant, claiming in court records that “wearing masks caused them anxiety and mental stress.”
The restaurant was the first business the county sought to close for failing to meet public safety requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.