CA restaurant owner claims to find 'loophole' to remain open during COVID-19 stay-home order

ByAndrew Morris KGO logo
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
CA restaurant owner claims to find stay-at-home 'loophole'
Denis Xenos, the owner of Denis' Country Kitchen in Lodi, California, claims to have found a loophole to legally keep his small business open against the state's stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

LODI, Calif. -- Central California has been hit hard by the winter wave of the coronavirus. The region recently fell below a hospital ICU capacity of 15%, triggering a required stay-at-home order for three weeks, as directed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

RELATED: Report: 10,000 restaurants expected to close in the next 3 weeks because of COVID-19

But a restaurant owner in Lodi says he has found a loophole to be able to continue operating.

Denis Xeros of Denis' Country Kitchen has not opened his restaurant to the public, technically. Instead, Xeros has been charging customers $1 upon entry as a "membership fee," hoping it will be a solution to keep him from going under.

"We all need income, we have rent to pay, those things aren't stopping," Xeros said. "We were already barely making it. I found that loophole, and I'm going for it."

RELATED: How Valley business owners are handling the new stay-home order

The tents at the Train Depot restaurant in Central Fresno sit empty as owner Patricia Escovedo is forced to pivot once again to comply with the states latest stay home order.

Denis' Country Kitchen has been open for nearly 30 years. Xeros plans to stay open no matter what, to protect his restaurant and his employees.

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