Pismo's in Fresno gets 'cease and desist' letter after serving beer to customer

Saturday, May 9, 2020
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David Pansler, the owner of Pismo's Coastal Grill in North Fresno, says he's also being threatened that his liquor license will be revoked if he doesn't comply with the state's ord

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's a busy day for employees at Pismo's Coastal Grill in North Fresno as they constantly push out takeout orders.

Business might seem good, but owner David Fansler says looks can be deceiving.

"Our sales are down about 75% or so," says Fansler.

He was hopeful he would be able to open Tuesday along with other Fresno businesses, but was instead met with a different reality.

"We keep getting these threats of things like ABC will come get your license, the City Attorney is going to criminally prosecute you," says Fansler.

On March 30, Fansler received a 'cease and desist' letter from the city attorney's office after he says he served a customer a beer who was waiting for a takeout order.

"It is very heavy-handed and it has gotten to a point where we are playing a game of 'gotcha' versus how are we keeping the public safe."

John Carr with ABC, California Alcoholic Beverage Control, says they've received complaints from every Central Valley county except Madera County - 111 for the entire state.

"ABC prefers education over enforcement especially during this pandemic when we know there have been major economic challenges," Carr says.

According to Carr, if a business continues to violate the state's orders, ABC will move forward with disciplinary action.

"It can result in suspension or ramifications, it depends on the track record of the business and it also depends on the type of situation that we have run into," says Carr.

Fansler is now hoping the board of supervisors pushes back on the governor's orders so his restaurants can survive.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus