The Sangamon County Department of Public Health has reached an agreement with three of four restaurants closed earlier this week after a temporary restraining order was issued against them for operating without food permits.
The department reached an agreement with the owners of D&J Café, also known as DJ's Café, 915 W. Laurel St.; Charlie Parker's, 700 W. North St.; and Sweet Basil Café, 4241 Conestoga Drive.
The three admitted to violations, agreed to pay related fines and said they would adhere to all current and future orders issued by the public health department.
"I am pleased that we were able to resolve this matter without further litigation and allow these local businesses to reopen in compliance with the law," said public health director Gail O'Neill. "We will continue to enforce local mitigation restrictions to keep our community safe and work with businesses who choose to follow the rules."
Fox Run Restaurant & Lounge, 1130 Legacy Pointe Drive, the fourth defendant, was not part of the settlement, but has withdrawn its request for a hearing before the Sangamon County Board of Health to dispute the suspension of its food license.
The TRO remains in effect against the restaurant pending the health department's request for a preliminary injunction, which is scheduled for Dec. 3.
The restaurant remains closed for the time being.
D&J Cafe owner John Price and Basil Restaurant Group, LLC, each agreed to pay $1,000 fines, $500 for each citation issued for allowing indoor dining against the county's orders.
Charlie Parker's was not assessed any fines before its food permit was revoked and thus will not have to pay under the settlement.
The restaurants' food permits were yanked after they each continued to allow indoor dining in defiance of the county's mitigations, which went into effect on Nov. 13.
After the establishments continued to operate without permits, the county requested a temporary restraining order, which Sangamon County Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow granted Tuesday.
In the finding, Grischow said Sangamon County State's Attorney Dan Wright established the restaurants "continued food service operations without a valid permit (constituted) a violation of the Sangamon County Code."
Grischow said in court that restaurants had a choice in the matter.
"They could have done curbside service. They could have complied with the regulations. They chose not to," Grischow said.
A fifth restaurant that had its food permit pulled last Sunday, Casa Real, 3100 West White Oaks Drive, was granted a reinstatement Tuesday by public health, according to spokesman Jeff Wilhite.
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