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Some businesses reopen following county’s decision to cancel local order

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — At least two local restaurants have re-opened for in-person dining, including one of Bakersfield’s most famous fish and chips eateries.

Mossman’s Event Catering Restaurant, downtown Bakersfield’s oldest restaurant, officially re-opened for dine-in Monday. The establishment has been taking only curbside and to-go orders for the last month.

Rick Mossman, owner of Mossman’s, said operating in this manner has been a challenge for his restaurant, which was a popular popular dine-in hangout before COVID-19 hit.

“It is probably the most challenging thing we’ve faced in my lifetime of being in the restaurant business,” he said, adding “we are losing money. We’ve lost one to two thousand dollars a day…It is time to open up, to get going, people want to come in and sit down we can sit them down.”

Mossman says he made the decision after the Kern County Public Health Department last weekend rescinded the local coronavirus pandemic order put in place on April 2nd. In essence, the local order stated Kern would enforce the governor’s mandate by issuing fines, jail time, or both to non-essential businesses who decided to stay open in volation of the governor’s state-wide order.

Mossman said he, his employees, and customers will continue to maintain social distancing guidelines.

“We definitely follow the guidelines — distancing people, staying away from people, not congregating too much — and we look forward to a time when things get back to the way it was, back to normal.”

Moo Creamery also re-opened for dine-in Monday with select hours.

At Monday morning’s press briefing, county officials emphasized the governor’s state-wide order remains in effect, which is why the county is asking people and non-essential businesses to continue staying at home unless absolutely necessary.

“The county will continue to provide education and awareness of the governor’s order, just as they have been,” said Megan Person, director of countywide communications. “They will go out to the businesses who have been non-compliant, and it’s our hope education will encourage businesses to comply, just as they have been this entire time.”

“It’s our understanding law enforcement is able to take action against businesses who will not comply following our attempts. The governor, attorney general, and law enforcement are all possibilities,” Person continued.

Robin Walters, Democratic Women of Kern president, echoed those sentiments, and said society should stray awy from politicizing the issue. Instead, she called on leaders to base their decisions on what the experts have to say.

“We’re talking about human lives, human health, families, businesses decimated, people losing their jobs,” Walters said. “That’s what we need to focus on — to get back to work, yes, [but] in a safe and appropriate way. Listen to the experts, listen to the science. I look forward to all having a bright future together.”

Looking ahead, Mossman said he’s staying open.

“We’re looking forward to uniquely serving our people. Come on in and let us serve you.”

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