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The Koffie Co.
The Koffie Co. on Grand Avenue in Escondido has publicly announced that they will remain open for indoor and outdoor operations despite statewide COVID-19 shutdown orders. Photo courtesy of The Koffie Co.
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Some Escondido businesses stay open despite stay-at-home order

ESCONDIDO — A few Escondido businesses are refusing to stop indoor and outdoor operations despite a state-mandated stay-at-home order, saying that their businesses depend on them keeping their doors open.

San Diego County recently entered a three-week stay-at-home order due to a decrease in ICU beds across Southern California.

The order temporarily closes a number of businesses, including on-site dining, even outdoors, at restaurants, breweries and wineries. Hair salons and barbershops, personal care services, museums and zoos, movie theaters, and indoor recreational facilities also had to close.

Though a vast majority of businesses in the county have complied with the order, some businesses, including a few in Escondido, have remained open.

The Koffie Co. on Grand Ave. has been outspoken about defying shutdown orders, even announcing on the coffee shop’s Instagram explaining that they intend to remain open.

Koffie’s owner, David Chiddick, has posted a few videos within the past several days saying that they will be keeping business as usual and that other businesses in the area should do the same.

“We made a decision that some things are worth fighting for and this is one of those things … our constitution is in place for this. I have a right … to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have a right to operate our business, and the governor of our state cannot tell us that we cannot make a living by opening our business as we see fit,” Chiddick said.

Hunsaker at Vincent’s in Escondido has also decided to continue operating outdoors on Fridays and Saturday evenings. The restaurant made the announcement with a post on their Facebook page, saying:

“We have shut down, we have followed every rule, we have bought everything to make sure we were in compliance and it has put our livelihood for not only ourselves but our employees at risk. If we shut down right now it is completely over for us and our employees. It will be disastrous to their families. That isn’t something we can comply with.”

Also on Grand Avenue, Tony Pepperoni Pizzeria has opted to keep their doors open and serve customers both indoors and outdoors.

“We’ve had a fairly consistent policy,” said Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara. “When we’ve been notified of violators, we’ve gone out and talked with them and they’ve come back to compliance. And we plan to do the same thing with some of the businesses now on Grand Avenue.”

He added that he expects that businesses will eventually comply, but if not, they may be subject to citations from the county, which may result in fines.  The county public health department has also been issuing cease-and-desist orders to businesses failing to comply throughout the county.

“I think these businesses being open are a result of high frustration levels with guidance that comes from the county and the state,” McNamara said. “I think people are concerned about their livelihoods and about losing their businesses.”

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