Restaurateur asks county, 'What's the deal?'

Tuesday, December 29, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

'Yes, we're open" signA restaurant owner in Illinois is speaking out against the Champaign area's COVID restrictions and is trying to protect the county's businesses and their patrons.

Jeff Buckler, owner of Lil Buford's Bar & Grill, recently told the "Fox & Friends" television program that there are hundreds of restaurants in Champaign, Illinois that are closed down, amounting to thousands of servers, cooks, and bartenders who are out of work. "People are starving, and it's going to get bad here soon," he lamented.

Buckler went on to say that winter is a hard time for the restaurant business, regardless of the situation.

"Out of 102 counties, there's three of them where the health departments are fighting the restaurants to close down," Buckler reported. "I can drive five miles south of my restaurant, and we can go eat pizza or have a burger inside of a bar. It's just Champaign County for some reason, and I don't know what their deal is, what their agenda is."

According to Buckler, COVID rates in Champaign are less than two percent.

"So, why are they closing us down?" Buckler wondered. "COVID is dangerous; I get it. But if your rates are below two percent, what's the deal?"

Buckler is currently being fined for every day his restaurant is open for indoor dining. "I don't know what it is until I go to court," he told "Fox & Friends." "It could be up to $500 a day."

Buckler added that a director of health recently came to his restaurant and took pictures of patrons' children.

"He came in with his mask below his nose," said Buckler about the health official. "Then he proceeded to take photos of little kids eating lunch. The parents asked him not to take pictures, and he said, 'You'll have to speak to the state's attorneys about that.'"

Buckler has since posted signs saying people may not take photos or videos in his business without his written permission – a measure he hopes will stop the health department from "bugging the customers" who are trying to enjoy their meal.

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