Napa County officials said late Tuesday that retail art galleries may open for business as part of California’s Stage 2 reopening plan.
That includes the Quent Cordair Fine Art gallery in downtown Napa.
Owners Quent and Linda Cordair sought to reopen their gallery using social distancing, masks and limiting the number of customers.
However, "Napa County ordered them to remain closed and threatened the Cordairs and their landlord with fines if they reopened ahead of California’s reopening plan," said a news release from the Pacific Legal Foundation.
The state’s reopening plan classifies retail businesses Stage 2, while art galleries are Stage 3. The state approved Napa County's plan, which moves galleries into Stage 2, on May 18.
Attorneys from Pacific Legal Foundation informed the county of an impending lawsuit from the Cordairs.
However, county officials later responded that retail art galleries would be considered Stage 2 retail businesses "and that they may resume operations," said the release.
Napa County officials say that the reopening plan had nothing to do with the threat of a lawsuit. They had always consider retail art galleries to be part of Stage 2 of the opening plan, and the state's acceptance of Napa's reopening proposal meant the gallery could reopen without resorting to a lawsuit.
Now that the gallery is reopen, the Cordairs are no longer moving forward with their planned lawsuit, said the release.
“We are happy that we can sell our art to willing customers, with recommended safety protocols in place,” said Linda Cordair.
Info: cordair.com, 707-255-2242
Editor's Note: this item has been modified to include comment from Napa County officials.
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