Six Lancaster County restaurants are among 28 business statewide that were sued in Commonwealth Court this week by the state Department of Health for violating Gov. Tom Wolf’s three-week ban on indoor dining, which ended Monday.
The suit filed Tuesday follows a similar one from Dec. 23 against 22 restaurants, including Olde Hickory Grill in Manheim Township. Like that earlier one, the new suit was filed through the Attorney General’s office and seeks damages, including punitive damages for “willful and wanton” violation of the order.
But the Jan. 5 suit adds a provision seeking damages and restitution for “unjust enrichment” by the restaurants, including “wrongful gains and disgorgement of profits realized through their violations of the order.”
The Lancaster County restaurants named in the new suit all received “closure by notice” orders between Dec. 21 and Dec. 27 from the state Department of Agriculture for violating the indoor dining ban.
The Lancaster County restaurants named in the Jan. 5 department of health suit are:
- Brickerville Family Restaurant, 2 28th East Division Highway, Lititz.
- Hometown Kitchen, 18 Furnace Road, Quarryville.
- New Holland Coffee Company, 832 West Main St., New Holland.
- Park City Diner, 884 Plaza Blvd., Lancaster.
- Quarryville Family Restaurant, 134 East State St., Quarryville.
- Yogurtworks Cafe, 108 N. Reading Road, Ephrata.
Other restaurants or business named in the Jan. 5 suit are:
- American Lobster, Wind Gap.
- Angelo’s Family Restaurant, Washington.
- Bella Italia Restaurant, Altoona.
- Bing’s Diner, Burnham.
- Cloud Nine Café, Wyomissing.
- Dad’s Garage Grill & Burger, Mechanicsburg.
- Denny’s Lennies, Halifax.
- Dob-Bros Country Kitchen, Spring Church.
- Fun Central, Clearfield.
- Hickory Valley Farm Restaurant, Swiftwater.
- Keystone Family Restaurant, Waynesboro.
- Mamma’s Pizza, Wellsville.
- Mandy Jo’s Country Corral, Everett.
- Marteen’s Family Restaurant, Everett.
- Mountain Shadows Restaurant, Blue Ridge Summit.
- Muller’s Family Restaurant, East Stroudsburg.
- RC’s Bar & Grill, Benton.
- Riley’s Restaurant & Pub, Egypt.
- Seasons Café, Reading.
- The Blue Collar Tavern, Emlenton.
- Tony’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, Highspire.
- Villa Schiano, Elizabethville.
Through its inspection of restaurants, the agriculture department has the state’s primary responsibility for enforcing COVID mitigation efforts. During the three-week ban on indoor dining, the agriculture department issued “closed by notice” orders to restaurants that ignored earlier warnings, and then referred those that still didn’t comply to the health department, which has now filed two lawsuits.
Since the ban on indoor dining is no longer in effect, all restaurants have been allowed to resume limited indoor dining, including those that previously received closure notices, or have been sued by the health department.