San Diego County, California: A San Diego Superior Court Judge has ruled in favor of strip clubs and restaurants remaining open countywide amid COVID-19 restrictions.
On Wednesday, Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil granted a preliminary injunction that allowed Cheetah Gentlemen’s Club and Pacers Showgirls International to remain open amid COVID-19 restrictions, as well as countywide businesses with restaurant service, prompting the county to seek an emergency hearing Thursday afternoon for clarification on the ruling.
During Thursday’s court hearing, the judge reinforced that his ruling encompasses all restaurants, not just strip clubs.
The ruling means that the State of California and County of San Diego can’t enforce a Stay-At-Home order regarding strip clubs and restaurants, and that all restaurants, including strip clubs that serve food, across San Diego County can remain open and make their own determinations about providing a safe environment for dancers and patrons during the pandemic.
Wednesday evening, Supervisor Desmond tweeted on Twitter, “BREAKING: A judge just ruled that he could not find a connection between resturant services and the spread of COVID. He has directed the county to allow businesses with resturant services to operate their business safely and responsibly.”
The ruling is a setback to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s health order that calls for such establishments to be shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said Wednesday evening that it was “disappointed” with the ruling and reviewing its legal options for next steps.