ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Municipality of Anchorage has reached a settlement with the owners of a restaurant that remained open for dine-in service in defiance of an emergency coronavirus order.
Kriner’s Diner agreed Tuesday to abide by a temporary injunction issued by Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth last week and to obey the city’s emergency order stopping indoor service at all restaurants and breweries, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
In return, the municipality agreed to suspend fines incurred when the diner defied the court injunction.
Aarseth issued the injunction when Kriner’s Diner continued dine-in service after the city’s order went into effect Aug. 3 and the business failed to comply with a stop-work order.
Andy Kriner, who owns Kriner’s Diner with his wife, said in a social media video post Sunday that the restaurant cannot afford to pay daily fines that could grow in size.
Anchorage previously requested a contempt of court hearing after the restaurant defied the judge’s order.
Under the agreement the diner will pay $3,300 in fines, but can pay the funds to the Food Bank of Alaska or a similar entity, Kriner’s attorney Blake Quackenbush said.
Kriner’s Diner is required to follow the city’s emergency order until Sept. 1 and will be subject to fines of $5,000 per defendant per day if the business provides indoor service.
Calls for sanctions by both parties against each other’s lawyers were also resolved.
In addition to halting dine-in service, the emergency order issued by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz allows only outdoor service and takeout and closes bars. The order resulted from a rise in COVID-19 cases in the city.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.