Two Spokane Valley restaurants plan to reopen despite state COVID restrictions

The Black Diamond
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Two restaurants in Spokane Valley plan to reopen in defiance of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The Black Diamond and Stormin’ Normans say they are open for businesses or will be soon.

In November, Governor Jay Inslee announced restaurants must close indoor dining because of rapidly rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state.

“We were asked to close indoor dining. We complied. We did our part as Washingtonians to help. We were asked to do this for 4 weeks,” the owners of the Black Diamond said in a Facebook post. “Now that those 4 weeks have gone by and the numbers in Spokane county continue to rise it is fact and science that restaurants are not a cause. Therefore, asking for our industry and the people who depend on it for a living to go another 3 weeks (or more and Inslee has threatened) is immoral and criminal. So…….. The Black Diamond is OPEN for business.”

This is the second time this year the Black Diamond has opened its doors in defiance of state restrictions. In May, the bar and grill was issued a public safety violation for staying open. The state has also said owners who go against restrictions could face fines and even possible jail time.

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board confirmed to 4 News Now that they are currently investigating the restaurant. Since March, the Black Diamond has received three verbal warnings and two formal citations for COVID-related violations.

“If the premises is found to be open for on-premises consumption and in violation of COVID restrictions, we could pursue an emergency suspension of their liquor license due to the protections and preservation of public health and safety,” the board said in a statement.

RELATED: The Black Diamond issued public safety violation for reopening, defying state order

Meantime, the owner of Stormin’ Normans said the restaurant will reopen after Christmas.

“Now that I have 15 other people’s livelihoods in my hands, I realized that I can’t just ‘peacefully sit by,” the owner said in a Facebook post. “I have done my best to be a good little ‘rule-follower.’ But now I am watching my so very faithful employees run out of employment, I am watching them, scramble to figure out Christmas for their children, I am watching them stress about making their rent or the previously joyful occasion of making their very first mortgage payment.”

Stormin’ Normans is set to reopened December 26 at 7 a.m.

“Please, use your best judgement regarding your own personal safety and the safety of those around you, but also, please do, safely, and at your own risk, join us when you are ready.”

READ: Washington restaurants, gyms adjust to extended COVID-19 restrictions