ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An attorney has said the city of Anchorage will take legal action against a local business for violating an order prohibiting indoor dining at restaurants and breweries during the coronavirus pandemic.
Anchorage attorney Kate Vogel said Wednesday that the city will seek an injunction in state court ordering Kriner’s Diner to stop indoor service and comply with the emergency order that went into effect Monday, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
This will be the first time a municipality takes a business to court for not following an order since the pandemic began in March.
The restaurant continued dine-in service this week after the order went into effect, and was given a stop-work order from the city to cease its dine-in operations Tuesday.
The injunction would allow the city to pursue additional fines while the court reiterates their obligations to obey, Vogel said. If Kriner’s Diner does not comply, the owners could be charged with contempt of court.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued the order to limit the spread of COVID-19 as the number of confirmed cases have increased. The state reported another 36 confirmed cases in Anchorage on Wednesday.
Diner owner Andy Kriner was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
During an interview Tuesday, he said he would continue to have dine-in service at his restaurant as long as he has money to pay the fines. The restaurant has already been fined $1,500 by the city — a $300 fine for the first day it remained open and $600 each day it stays open.
The Anchorage Assembly extended an emergency proclamation in the municipality in July that will last until Oct. 16, giving the mayor special powers during the pandemic, such as issuing emergency orders.
Most of the city’s restaurants and bars are complying with the emergency order, but Vogel said the city is monitoring some they believe could potentially violate the order in the future.