Fiddleheads Cafe located in Mendocino, California is charging a $5 fee to customers who wear a mask or brag about their COVID-19 vaccine.
A sign posted in the window of the cafe states, “$5 fee added to orders placed while wearing a face mask”. Additionally, the sign mentions that customers will be given an additional $5 fee if “caught bragging” about receiving the vaccine.
Chris Castleman, the owner of Fiddleheads Cafe, said the proceeds from the fees “will be donated to local charities assisting domestic abuse victims.” Castleman expressed, “I’ve been asked this entire time to put on a mask and that’s not a large request, all I’m asking is a $5 donation to charity and I don’t think that’s too much.”
Some patrons are “more than willing” to pay the fee once they learn it’s being donated to charity. Yet, “Some people are really upset by it. You can see outside they were about to come in and they see the sign and they turn away,” explained Castleman
Nevertheless, Fiddleheads Cafe is defying California’s state mask mandate despite the local government being on them for the past year.
About one year ago, Castleman temporarily closed his cafe rather than forcing his employees to wear a mask. Prior to shutting down, he was hit with a $10,000 fine. Recently, he has been given notices but has managed to find ways to comply.