A restaurant in Missouri was shut down by the Jackson County Department of Environmental Health for violating Covid-19 orders and decided to reopen as a private club.

Rae’s Café in Blue Springs was issued multiple citations and warnings for not adhering to the mask mandate that is in place. The Jackson County Department of Environmental Health had been out to the restaurant after they had received multiple complaints regarding the violations. On Friday the Department of Public Health had shut Rae’s Café down declaring the café an “imminent health hazard.”

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Fortunately, that didn’t keep Rae’s Café out of business for long. On Saturday they reopened as a private club. A sign was posted outside the restaurant that stated the rules for entry into the private club.

 “Welcome to Rae’s private club. A $1 membership fee is collected at the door at each member’s visit. Dress code: No masks allowed. Please sign your name upon entry to verify your club’s membership. As a member, you can suggest items to the menu.” – Private club sign

There was also a list of club policies.

“By entering this club you admit that you are not a member of the general public. By signing your name, you record your membership and attendance. You also assume any and all risks of disease transmission.”

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The mask mandate for Jackson County went into effect on August 4.

The mandate states any “indoor place of accommodation,” which is defined as any place or business offering or holding out to the general public goods, services, privileges, facilities advantages, or accommodations for the peace, comfort, health, and safety of the general public.”

However, the mandate does not include private clubs. The owner, Amanda Wohletz, had complied with the mask mandate the first time around but was not willing to do it a second time. She feels that it is unfair to restaurant workers.

“It didn’t work the first time, it hasn’t worked in two years, so why are you going to keep making restaurants and bars suffer that have already suffered for so long. This is my livelihood. This is my staff’s livelihood. It should be my choice for my restaurant.” – Amanda Wohletz

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