Defiant restaurant in Chehalis faces judge for violating indoor dining COVID-19 restrictions

A defiant restaurant in Chehalis will face off with the state once again in the battle for indoor dining.

A new hearing between Spiffy’s Restaurant and Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is now on the agenda for 2021. The attorney for Spiffy’s requested the postponement, which a judge granted during a Webex virtual hearing, Tuesday.

Several dozens of Spiffy’s supporters rallied outside of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office ahead of the hearing.

"There’s a lot of people out there just suffering. These businesses are just holding on by strings just to make it through to make sure to not only support their own families, but support the families of all the people they have working for them," said Don, a supporter.

A Spiffy’s employee of 34 years addressed the crowd right before the hearing started. He said he believes the COVID-19 restrictions on restaurant and bars are wrong.

"It’s our business this time. Who is it next? Is it the electrical union? Is it the carpenters? They won’t stop people, they will not stop until they get everybody bowing to them," said the employee. "We can’t take this anymore. We as the people have to stand up and it starts right here."

Governor Jay Inslee extended restrictions on restaurants and bars through January 4. Spiffy’s reopened its dining room in early December despite the governor’s mandate. Regardless of the requirements, customers continued showing up.

"They’re maintaining the social distancing that the governor is recommending, but yet they’re still shut down. I don’t agree with it, I don’t get it and I’m here to support them," said Leslie Peterson, a supporter.

Earlier in the day, Farm Boy Drive-In Restaurant in Thurston County was found in contempt of violating COVID-19 restrictions. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries said Farm Boy will be fined $2,000 every day it continues indoor dining, starting with the day the restaurant received the Temporary Restraining Order.

Spiffy’s is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, January 5 at 3 p.m.