After 2 ½ weeks of defying a state ban on on-premises restaurant dining amid a worsening coronavirus pandemic, Fumé Bistro & Bar in north Napa announced Tuesday evening it has reverted to serving customers only by takeout, after continuing to open an enclosed dining patio.
Spokespeople for the Napa city and county governments confirmed the move Wednesday, saying it followed their joint referral of the case last week to the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which issues liquor licenses to eateries.
The ABC on Monday visited the restaurant at 4050 Byway East and cited it for violating health orders, according to agency spokesperson John Carr. The bureau is in the process of filing an administrative action against Fumé’s state license and will monitor its compliance with state law, he said in an email Wednesday afternoon.
In a letter posted to the eatery’s Facebook page, Fumé Bistro’s owner Terry Letson announced the switch to carry-out service, but urged an end to the on-premises dining ban that took effect Dec. 18, disputing restaurants’ role in furthering the spread of COVID-19.
“We want to emphasize the precautions our industry has taken by distancing, sanitizing, masking, limiting occupancy and eliminating indoor dining to ensure the safety of our customers,” he wrote, asserting that restaurants serving customers outside are being unfairly targeted by the package of business restrictions California imposed last month as intensive-care units in the Bay Area fell below 15% vacancy as infections and illnesses surged.
The three-week state order, which also closes wine tasting rooms and hair salons while curbing capacity at grocery and retail businesses, is set to run through Friday, but could be extended based on the Bay Area’s continuing dearth of ICU space. Regional capacity was 7.4% on Wednesday, well below the level needed to lift the order.
Calling the prohibition of on-site dining “unprecedented and unwarranted,” Letson pointed to the steep losses borne by the restaurant industry since the first stay-at-home orders took effect in March.
“Restaurants must be approved for outdoor dining soon,” he said. “Our industry has suffered catastrophic financial consequences through this pandemic and continues to be penalized without corroborating data.”
KGO-TV Channel 7, ABC’s San Francisco affiliate, earlier reported that Fumé’s dine-in customers included several on New Year’s Day who did not wear masks.
Since March, the pandemic has resulted in 359,445 deaths nationwide and 27,462 deaths in California, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University and the state Department of Public Health.
WATCH NOW: ALMOST 30,000 JOBS LOST IN RESTAURANT AND DINING SECTOR IN 2020
HEART OF THE VALLEY: OUTSTANDING MEMBERS OF THE NAPA VALLEY COMMUNITY
Heart of the Valley: Meet outstanding members of the Napa County community
Each year the Napa Valley Register runs a series of community profiles to shine a spotlight on unsung individuals whose actions have made a difference in the lives of others in Napa County.
A cold call to Gordon Huether gave barber, Giancarlo Fradella, a lifeline to weather the pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic Janet Nottley's work has extended beyond the normal tasks of establishing and enforcing child support orders for parents.
Parents on tight budgets told Shelley Lopez they were choosing between food and masks for their children. She set out to make sure families had what they needed.
After lockdowns threatened to spell doom for Napa Valley's vibrant culinary scene, one local stepped in to offer his help. Soon so did 15,000 others.
Check out the free snack station this Napa family made for delivery drivers and other essential workers.
Growing up in a small town taught David Busby a few golden rules that have inspired him as a retiree: Treat others as you would want to be treated, and love your neighbor.
Robert Morey of the nonprofit The Napa School of Martial Arts offers free Zoom classes to his students during the pandemic.
Lydia Mondavi worked with others to help bring widespread COVID-19 testing to Napa Valley.
Young Farmers spent 2020 helping those in need.
Erika Pusey credits the people she has met in her numerous volunteer efforts for changing her life and widening her horizons.
You can reach Howard Yune at 530-763-2266 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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