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Silver City restaurant still operates despite revoked license for violating virus order

SILVER CITY, New Mexico -- A popular business in the community of Silver City has found itself at an impasse with the state's coronavirus public health orders.

That clash began on May 18 when the Jalisco Cafe opened its doors for dine-in service, a move made in direct defiance of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

According to owner Michael Mesa, the state responded by issuing a cease and desist order and suspending the cafe's food permit.

"At this time, I won't make a statement," said Mesa. "I would like to have something in writing to go over with my lawyers and provide to the media something later that is more concise.

He added: "I want to get my licensing and my permitting back and we are in that process at this point."

During this time, restaurant staff have been kept busy by a steady stream of out-of-town visitors and local customers, many of whom have been regulars at the cafe since it opened in 1984.

“I think the initial shut down was justified but now it is really time for things to get back in business," said diner Adrian Sewell.

During all of this, the Jalisco Cafe contends it has maintained now-standard safety measures including a strict customer capacity, social distancing and sanitization practices.

Mesa said that moving forward, he has officially requested a permit hearing date and said he still hopes to get this situation resolved quickly.

Health / New Mexico / News

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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