Ruling Expected today could end ban on Indoor Operations for Gyms and Restaurants

Written by Michael Palomba

A ruling is expected to be issued today regarding a lawsuit from four San Diego businesses that want to resume indoor operations despite the county’s shift into the purple tier last week.

The businesses involved in the suit are Cowboy Star restaurant and butcher shop, the Home & Away Encinitas bar/restaurant, the Bear Republic gym and Fit Athletic Club. Bruno Katz, the attorney representing the businesses, said the state’s tier system is based on “junk science” and pointed to the fact the county’s public health officer said restaurants and gyms are not the primary cause of the latest spike in cases.

“To say that takeout is the answer is not reasonable,” said Katz. “For eight months, restaurants have been trying to survive. Not every restaurant can operate with takeout, and there is no help coming.”

If the judge is to rule in favor of these businesses, it will spell some major changes for the county. It would allow all gyms and restaurants to reopen and operate indoors, invalidating a major aspect of Governor Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

We’re in the middle of an unprecedented surge in this pandemic,” Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Eisenberg said in defense of the state’s restrictions. “Numbers are getting worse and have been for a number of weeks.”

A majority of states, including Florida, Texas, and Georgia, have allowed businesses to remain open despite the pandemic. California remains one of few heavily restricted states with overbearing stay-at-home orders, strict mask mandates, and mandatory business closures.