Lawsuit seeks to close Calabash Seafood in Mechanicsville for staying open despite having license suspended

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed a lawsuit Monday seeking a temporary injunction to close Calabash Seafood in Mechanicsville, a restaurant that has refused to comply with the state’s COVID-19 safety requirements, for continuing to serve customers after having its license suspended three weeks ago.

The suit, filed on behalf of the State Board of Health and Virginia Health Commissioner, notes that the local health department has received dozens of complaints about the restaurant for not following safety requirements, including claims that it allowed people to dine indoors before it was permitted by the state.

“We all have a part to play in slowing the spread of COVID, and for restaurant and other business owners, that means following the safety guidelines that will help keep their employees and patrons safe and healthy,” Herring said in a statement. “Compliance with social distancing, mask requirements, and other safety measures will ultimately help us get through this pandemic faster and make it more likely that restaurants and other businesses can stay open for the long term.”

READ MORE: VDH suspends permit for Calabash Seafood in Mechanicsville

Herring’s office said in a release Monday that the restaurant has failed several inspections, refuses to comply to the safety requirements put in place during the coronavirus pandemic and has stayed open since have its license suspended on July 27.

The Hanover Health Department has received around 25 complaints since May 14 about patrons and employees at Calabash Seafood violating the governor’s executive orders regarding the coronavirus.

Environmental Health staff investigated the complaints made about the restaurant and observed violations of Gov. Northam’s ‘Phase 3’ guidelines during each visit.

The lawsuit seeks to have a judge grant a temporary injunction to close the restaurant “unless and until its license is restored,” according to Herring’s office.

Stay with 8News for updates to this story.

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