‘We’re not leaving!’ Bartolino’s Facebook post threatens lawsuit over new COVID-19 restrictions

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – More than 100 St. Louis County restaurants are filing a temporary restraining order against new COVID restrictions set to begin on Tuesday. 

St. Louis County is forcing all restaurants to close to indoor dining for four weeks. 

Restaurants and bars will have to close to indoor service but they will be able to have outdoor dining as well as drive-thru and curbside service.

On Saturday, Bartolino’s Restaurant posted on Facebook that it would join other restaurants in the lawsuit.

We, and other Family owned Restaurants in St. Louis County are not going quietly! You have been there for us, we are going to be there for you! Sam Page’s overreach with the arbitrary closure of indoor dining for county restaurants and bars is irresponsible.

The final weeks of the year are consistently one of the most important times of the year for restaurant employees. Our employees are FAMILY, and Sam Page took a direct uppercut towards their livelihood. We have partnered with other local county restaurants to file a lawsuit against Sam Page, and plan to REMAIN OPEN for SAFE Indoor Dining.

Bartolino’s Restaurant Facebook Post

Calls are pouring in from other owners who feel the restrictions are unfair and could put them out of business. 

Mike Saracino, who owns Bartolino’s, told FOX 2 they were stunned when they got the news Thursday night. 

Saracino and others feel it’s unfair to ban indoor dining in St. Louis County when diners can go to St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties. 

Outdoor dining is allowed in St. Louis County but restaurant owners say it’s simply too cold at night. They’re worried about the thousands of restaurant employees who can’t get PPE money or additional unemployment as they did during the spring shut down. 

Saracino said he understands he and others face an uphill legal battle to defy the county’s order but they have to fight.

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