Some Danville restaurants have decided to reopen their outdoor dining, challenging the latest shutdown order.

The bold move comes as Contra Costa County supervisors are considering raising fines for offenders.

“Other than speeding tickets, this is the only time I’ve ever defied something in my life,” said Jimmy Eliopoulos, who owns Crumbs Restaurant.

And their customers are embracing it as word spread fast on Tuesday. Brand Van Horn was one of the customers who said they were happy to be enjoying breakfast outside again and hopes other restaurants follow suit.

“I say they should open up and will support you and the county health department can just relax,” Van Horn said.

Contra Costa County supervisors said opening in-person dining during a COVID-19 surge is irresponsible. Supervisors on Tuesday discussed possibly raisning fines to as much as $20,000 for repeat offenders.

“I think that’s awful,” said Bernadette Moufarrej, who owns Incontro Ristorante, “Why do they want to continue to hurt us?”

Moufarrej said the shutdown is unfair. She feels confident her customers and staff can stay safe, so Incontro Ristorante will be serving dinner outside.

“It has not been proven to us to show outdoor dining has caused an influx of COVID cases,” Moufarrej said.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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