FAIR OAKS (CBS13) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking bars, pubs, wineries to shut down - but one Fair Oaks businessman is thumbing his nose at the request.
"It's not right for my employees, patrons or my business," said Nick Jamson.
Jamson owns the San Juan Club, which has been open since 1959 in Fair Oaks. He says he is already practicing social distancing in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but the governor's request to close doesn't make dollars and sense.
"It's not right for us to bear that financial burden," he said, shaking his head.
One of his employees agrees.
"I am glad Nick decided to stand up for us and keep us working," said Amber Carter. "It's important to my family."
Carter has been a bartender at the San Juan Club for more than a year.
"I have a son, so me not working would really be bad because I am a single mother," said Carer.
She is washing her hands and sanitizing the work space constantly. She said she is not worried about unknown origin, or community spread, of COVID-19.
"No, I believe in building up an immunity to germs," she said.
The idea the governor would ask small businesses to close their doors indefinitely is hard to swallow for bar patrons.
"I think he is overreacting a bit," said one man.
Especially the night before one of the biggest bar nights of the year: St. Patrick's Day.
"Small business owners, we are the ones that get affected the most - not big corporations," said Jamson.
As word spread, calls of support and some criticism came in. Jamson took it all in stride. It is an ask, not an order at this point - even though the governor has threatened enforcement.
"That's what it's going to take to make me close, because I am not going to close unless they come in and say you're done," said Jamson.
California is one of a half dozen states to ask bars and pubs to close as a precaution. Restaurants statewide have been asked to cut number patrons in half.
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