El Dorado County files complaint against 2 restaurants

Eric Jaramishian
Mountain Democrat

El Dorado County filed a complaint Nov. 8 against two Placerville restaurants — Apple Bistro and Danette’s Brick Oven Pub — for continual operation without health permits required by the state and county.

The lawsuit seeks an order from the court to require the closure of the restaurants until both establishments obtain the required permits, according to a news release sent by the county’s Chief Administrative Office.

Plaintiffs in the complaint include Jennette Waldow and Farmers Kitchen LLC for Apple Bistro and Thomas and Danette Inman for Danette’s.

Due to violations of state and county health codes, the county Environmental Management Department suspended both health permits in summer 2020 for violating COVID-19 restrictions.

Fines of $500 a day followed as the restaurants continued to operate without health permits.

The owners of each establishment requested a hearing to give reason why their permits should not be suspended but failed to appear, prompting Environmental Management to revoke both licenses in Sept. 2020, according to cease and desist letters sent to each eatery Oct. 22.

Both restaurants continued to operate for more than a year then got the cease and desist letters, requesting a response within seven days.

The letters were ignored, according to the press release.

“The county has provided ample opportunity for the owners of these establishments to appeal the suspension of health permits prior to their revocation, to correct course or cease operations for the health and safety of their patrons. They have defied state law, county ordinances and administrative orders to close,” states County Counsel David Livingston in a news release. “They have left the county no other course of action than to involve the Superior Court.”

Waldow declined to comment to the Mountain Democrat and the Inmans could not be reached for comment as of press time.

In January Apple Bistro management told the Mountain Democrat the fines were illegal and unconstitutional. “We’re not closed and we’re not going to close,” they said, arguing that the COVID-19 shutdown was not law but a recommendation.

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