On Friday, it was reported that Old Town Albuquerque restaurant Backstreet Grill had been shut down due to employees defying Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s mask mandates despite the CDC allowing fully vaccinated people to be outside without masks.
The restaurant, which was previously shut down in 2020 for similar complaints, had been shuttered after multiple nameless, faceless individuals complained via Yelp about servers not wearing masks.
“The hostess did not wear a mask. I asked her if she would, she said no,” one review said. “He kind of leaned over towards us, still no mask, to point at the menu. I asked him if he could wear a mask. He flat out said no,” said another.
KRQE 13 checked out the situation, where they caught multiple employees not wearing masks while serving food in the fresh outdoor air.
The news station reached out to Christopher Cordova, one of the restaurant’s managers, for comment. He wrote back, saying, “We live in America where mandates are not laws, we have the right to refuse to wear a mask.” When asked if he would share his side on camera, he replied, “I’m not interested in talking about masks. It’s very boring for me.”
The station got a comment from Albuquerque Environmental Health Department’s Mark DiMenna, who said, “Very few instances where anyone flagrantly disregarding what the public health order is asking for,” and that “This is sort of an exceptional situation.”
After KRQE 13 reached out to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s environmental health departments, the restaurant was shut down by the New Mexico State Police just a few hours later for violating the health order.
Other restaurants and other institutions across the state have been mask shamed and harassed by Gov. Lujan Grisham’s administrations throughout the pandemic. Her State Police have been employed as attack dogs to implement her orders while she has called out specific establishments and jurisdictions across the state during her COVID-19 press conferences, including Hobbs and Española.