A Northern California cafe owner is charging an extra $5 to customers who wear face masks while ordering and said the proceeds from the increase would be donated to charities affected by the stringent restrictions. Since March, he has even provided a 50% discount for those who throw their face masks in the trash, NBC News reported.
The owner of “Fiddlehead’s Cafe” in Mendocino County, California, drew some disapproving reactions, but also a lot of support, in his original campaign that began last Monday, May 24. The campaign attacks the use of facemasks, with signs informing customers that they will incur an additional $5 charge if they are wearing one.
Previously, in March, “Fiddleheads Cafe” made headlines when SF Gate reported that Chris Castleman, owner of the cafe, had posted a sign reading, “Throw your mask(s) in our trash bin and receive 50% off your order.”
The sign, posted on TikTok, quickly went viral, receiving at least 39,000 likes and nearly 1,700 comments.
Some customers were baffled Monday morning after seeing the coffee shop’s new policy greeting them at the door. A large-lettered sign taped to the glass window at “Fiddlehead’s Cafe” read, “$5 fee added to orders placed while wearing a face mask.”
Below the large-print caption was two additional notes warning guests that if they were “caught flaunting” their vaccinations, “an additional $5 fee” would be added to their bill.
Chris Castleman, 34, who has been an active critic of the coronavirus restrictions since early in the pandemic, assured NBC News that the proceeds from the extra fee would go to charity.
He said: “It’s about time that the proponents of these ineffective government measures start paying for the collateral damage they have collectively caused.”
According to DailyMail, California and Hawaii are the only two states that still require masks indoors for those vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that vaccinated people do not have to wear masks in most settings.
The café owner said he plans to keep the signs up “for at least a couple of months,” because he doesn’t think Mendocino County will rescind its mask mandate anytime soon. California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom has announced a planned reopening for June 15.
In May 2020, at the onset of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus (COVID-19) restrictions, Castleman posted a “Letter to the citizens of Mendocino County” on his blog, in which he mentioned why he disagreed with the ordinances that were taking effect in California and the country.
“There are serious negative effects of an economic shutdown and lack of social interaction on a person’s mental well being. Depression, suicide, child abuse, domestic abuse, substance abuse, etc. These sometimes permanent consequences have been researched and documented for decades.” he wrote in the blog.
Adding that “Just because our solution is different than yours doesn’t make it wrong, and it certainly should not make us criminals. I love and care for Mendocino, which is why I will not close my doors to those in this town asking me to keep them open.”
He concluded his note by saying, “I’m not asking you to agree with me, but please for goodness sake, do not criminalize normal human behavior.”