Carlsbad restaurant owners refuse to shutdown despite regional stay-at-home order

Written by Sebastian Acosta

While many San Diego restaurant owners are engaged in a “peaceful protest,” choosing to keep their doors open in defiance of the state’s stay-at-home orders, Carlsbad takes the cake for the most.

Attorney Michael Curran is currently representing nearly 60 Carlsbad businesses in their effort to push back against state guidelines. 

“Constitutional rights don’t go away in the event of the pandemic. We’re calling it a constitutionally protected peaceful protest,” he said.

County Supervisor Jim Desmond and a number of other local politicians have praised the businesses for fighting for their right to exist, rather than bowing to unjustified shutdown orders from the state. 

For some businesses, their decision to stay open is a financial one, rather than a political one. 

A sign on the door of Vigilucci’s, a Carlsbad restaurant, reads:

“Takeout business alone is not sustainable for our employees, many of which have families that depend on their income to pay rent, mortgages, utilities, and food: the basic necessities that we all work very hard to provide,. We firmly believe that the virus is real, and will continue to follow the health and safety protocol while continuing to operate under the guidelines set forth by the CDC and county health office. We have always had the safety and well being of our customers and employees at the top of our priorities. Please consider the moral and financial dilemma we face.”

Meanwhile, the now Democrat-controlled Board of Supervisors recently voted to increase enforcement against non-complying businesses as a response to the surge in coronavirus cases. The Safe Reopening Compliance Team will conduct proactive inspections and cite businesses that violate the rules. 

There seems to be a disconnect here. Business owners are being forced to defy state restrictions simply to survive the pandemic, and the officials who are supposed to represent them are instead working to keep them closed.