WASHINGTON COUNTY (KDKA) — When Governor Wolf unveiled the latest round of coronavirus restrictions ordering restaurants to suspend indoor dining, Al’s Café, a Bethel Park restaurant, never did.
It is a decision the restaurant owner is prepared to defend in court, according to what he told KDKA.
“It’s not like we’re rebelling against anything,” said owner Rod Ambrogi. “We’re just trying to make a living. We’re trying to give our staff the opportunity to make a living.”
During the dinner rush, the parking spaces were full outside Al’s Café. The blinds are closed, but the restaurant is open.
“They’re here with their families, children in there. There’s doctors in there. There’s lawyers in there. There’s policemen in there,” Ambrogi said.
Ambrogi added that he does not have any concerns about the spread of the virus with the restaurant being open for indoor dining.
KDKA chose not to enter. But owner Rod Ambrogi told KDKA that people are social distancing and the place is cleaned thoroughly.
Ambrogi chose to violate the current coronavirus restrictions for his employees struggling to provide for their families. More than 40 employees chose to keep working.
“Our employees are the same as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Giant Eagle, the post office, the county, the port authority,” he said.
On Friday, David’s Diner in Springdale posted a video on their Facebook page, reportedly showing them receiving a citation from the Allegheny County Health Department for allowing dine-in service. Gianna Via’s also said they had a visit.
Right now, Ambrogi is building a legal team with several local and out-of-state attorneys to fight any fines or forced closures at his restaurant.
“We know we have due process,” Ambrogi said. “We have constitutional rights, and I believe due process will support us.”
A rally with industry, local and state leaders is scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. at Al’s Café to discuss what happens next for restaurant owners making the tough decision to break the statewide orders and stay open.