A Fredericksburg, Virginia restaurant owner is ready to fight the Northam Administration in court after scrapping mask mandates in favor of face freedom for his customers and employees, and refusing to comply with a subsequent health department order to close his doors.
It took Matt Strickland, a Marine Corps veteran of the War on Terror, five years to build his business up from a food truck to a popular brick and mortar eatery. Now, after scrapping Governor Northam’s mask mandate and giving his employees and customers alike the freedom of choice, he is at risk of losing his hard work as he prepares to fight for his livelihood in court against his own government.
“I’m not afraid of the state, I’m not afraid of the federal government,” Strickland says. “I spent most of my adult life fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have no problem coming home and fighting here in Virginia.”
Though his permit was revoked by the health department a month ago, Strickland has refused to close his doors. When blackface donning Attorney General Mark Herring decided to make an example of him, he hired former GOP Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia to represent him in court and raised over $9,000 for his defense.
While reporting from WUSA 9, a D.C.-based CBS affiliate, bemoans that “there is not a mask in sight” within the restaurant, Gourmeltz has yet to become the danger to public health that technocratic “experts” and government officials claim it is, having served customers without a single case of COVID-19 transmission both with and without masks.
“[Gourmeltz] has been serving customers without a single incident of COVID-19,” says Barr. “Including any potential reports through contact tracing, nearby outbreaks, or any customers or employees testing positive, since the outbreak began.”
Regardless of bad press, Strickland won’t back down. Instead, he has dug in, warning his fellow citizens of the slippery slope of big government.
“If you do what the government says just because they say so, they’ll keep taking and taking and the things you give them you’ll never get back,” Strickland said.
Gourmeltz remains open, but a ruling in the case is expected Friday. If the state gets their way, the restaurant’s doors will permanently closed, becoming yet another business casualty of Governor Northam’s year-long COVID-19 shutdown.