‘We just don’t have a choice’: Restaurant plans to defy purple tier restrictions


SAN DIEGO — Starting Saturday, all restaurants, gyms and places of worship in San Diego County must shut down indoor operations due to the county falling into the purple tier. But some businesses are threatening to defy the health orders.

“We’re on about the fourth or fifth shutdown of taking away what’s been given to us,” Nick Kasha said. “It just seems like a roller coaster and a revolving door and there’s just no end in sight.”

Rudford’s Restaurant on El Cajon Boulevard has been a feature of San Diego’s North Park neighborhood since the 1940s and this year has been the toughest yet.

“We’ve done everything,” owner Jeff Kasha said. “We’ve done the dividers. We’ve done the masks. We’ve done the social distancing.”

The restaurant isn’t turning hard against the health orders; they will provide outdoor seating. But if customers ask to sit inside because of the cold or wet weather, they will have a booth standing by.

“We’re scared too,” Nick said. “We don’t know what the consequences are, but for us, we just don’t have a choice.”

Jeff and Nick said they have been working around the clock for 10 months to dig out of a hole caused by lost revenue during early lockdowns. They say firing their staff of 45 employees again is just too hard and they will not do it.

“The anxiety is, am I going to pay my bills?” Jeff said. “The anxiety is, am I going to pay my employees?”

At Rudford’s, they will remain open as it is now.

“We haven’t had the health department come here,” Nick said. “We haven’t had anybody come check on us. We haven’t had anybody do a walk-through and see what we’re doing.”

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