Mendocino, CA, Cafe Owner Charges Extra for Mask Theater and Virtue-Signaling

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

I love this. I will be traveling to the northern part of the state next week, and may need to pop in to support this Conscious, small business owner.

Customers at one Northern California cafe were taken aback Monday morning after they got a glimpse of the new store policy that greeted them at the door.

“$5 FEE ADDED TO ORDERS PLACED WHILE WEARING A FACE MASK,” read the poster on the glass window at Fiddlehead’s Cafe in Mendocino. A second sign with the same memo was located by the register.

According to the Press Democrat, Fiddlehead Cafe owner Chris Castleman was fined by Mendocino County for not complying with COVID-19 State protocols, and chose to board up his business rather than comply with the restrictions, including making his employees mask police.

“I’m not going to tell my employees to do anything,” he said then. “That’s between them and the county. In general, the stance I have on all this is it’s about personal responsibility and personal choice. It’s not about me being a police officer.”

Castleman echoes the sentiment of Baret Lepejian of Tinhorn Flats in Burbank, CA, and so many small restaurant owners throughout the state, and his response was a measure of his defiance in not complying. Now, that Castleman has reopened, he appears to continue in that vein.

Just below the large print were two additional notes on the poster that warned guests if they were “caught bragging” about their vaccines “an additional $5 fee” would be added to their bill. The sign claims the fees will be donated to local charities assisting domestic abuse victims. (Previously, Fiddlehead’s Cafe had a second sign on its storefront that’s circulated on social media and read “Get your free COVID-19 vaccine card here!” The sign has since been removed.)

I have no idea what it is like in other parts of the country, but here in California, if people are not posting on social media about their vaccine, they are expressing how concerned they are about other people being vaccinated—which really is none of their business. So, bravo to Castleman for skewering the rampant virtue-signaling that goes along with this whole COVID theater. We’ve gone from “15 Days to Slow the Spread” to “100 Ways to Vaccination Virtue-Signal”.

It’s nauseating.

Mendocino County has 86,749 residents, and according to the vaccine tracker at California for All, a little over 20,000 residents have been fully or partially vaccinated. The county is currently in the yellow tier of California’s color-coded system for reopening, though Governor Gavin Newsom is promising the entire state will experience full reopening on June 15.