Customers help pay fine after Waffle Shop fined for dine-in service during 2nd day open in defiance of orders


FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — During its second day of being open in defiance of state and local orders, The Waffle Shop in northwest Fresno was fined by code enforcement Friday morning. But patrons of the restaurant stepped up and helped pay the fine.

The Waffle Shop started sit-down service on Thursday, and owner Ammar Ibrahim was issued a warning that he’d be fined if he remained open in that capacity.

Offering dine-in services is going against city and state orders allowing restaurants to provide take-out only.

Ibrahim said his own customers stepped up to help pay the $1,000 fine.

The next fine would be $5,000, but that’s not scaring Ibrahim into closing his dine-in service.

“Until the city attorney general walks in here and shuts me down, then you know, we can have a conversation,” Ibrahim said. “’cause it’s not just me. It’s millions of Americans that are asking to go back to work.”

Though employees were wearing masks and gloves, very few customers appeared to be wearing masks despite the city’s order that went into effect this week.

Ibrahim claims his water was shut off, but a city spokesman denied that saying there’s even a moratorium in place to allow leniency for late bills if it even came to that.

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