SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Judge Raylene Grischow has ruled four Springfield-area restaurants that defied pandemic restrictions must close temporarily.
Sangamon County Public Health officials suspended the food permits of Charlie Parkers, D&J Cafe, Fox Run and Sweet Basil Cafe for continuing to offer indoor dining.
Each business was fined $500.
The judge ruled Tuesday afternoon that the restaurants violated County Code.
They will have to close temporarily on a "temporary restraining order."
Sangamon County Chairman Andy Van Meter issued the following statement explaining the decision to seek a TRO:
"We have shown that we are committed to enforcing the local orders. This isn’t being taken lightly. It is an extremely difficult situation. But we wouldn’t have taken any of these actions, whether it be issuing local orders or seeking a TRO, if we didn’t feel we had the medical facts on our side.
"Most restaurants and bars seem to be complying, and we strongly urge residents to patronize our local restaurants. But we have a small number that are not complying, which is problematic for several reasons. Of course there is the main overriding medical concern. But it’s also not fair to those that are complying, and operating with the additional restrictions and taking this seriously. Everyone should be on the same playing field to have maximum impact.
"It is fairly acknowledged precedent that you cannot operate a restaurant without a food permit. That was the narrow issue addressed today. We hope that the larger issue will be addressed soon, for the interest of all the parties involved.
"We appreciate the ruling made today by Judge Grischow, and look forward to the next step. I think that for all involved, the sooner the better, when it comes to additional guidance from the courts. In the meantime, we will continue to enforce the local orders."
A previous version of this story reported that Casa Real was among the restaurants that had its food permit suspended by the SCPH. Casa Real was not involved in this ruling and is open for outdoor dining.