SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Getting spat on, pushed, and threatened. All for asking some customers to follow Springfield’s mask ordinance. Ozarks First spoke to the owner of Riad’s Burgers and Gyros.
Sean Matar says people have listened for the most part, but when they don’t, they get aggravated. He says it makes him sad and uncomfortable.
“It is very uncomfortable for me to go over and tell somebody to put something on that they aren’t normally used to wearing,” Matar said. “I really appreciate the people that just go ahead and do it. The people that refuse, need to understand that it’s nothing personal. It’s the law.”
At Riad’s, you have to wear a mask to be allowed in the restaurant. If you don’t have one, an employee will give one to you.
Matar says he’s been threatened multiple times by customers who don’t agree with these guidelines. He says this has scared him into locking his doors at times and only doing to-go orders.
On most days though, a majority of people listen, and he says that makes the day go by a lot easier.
At Archie’s Italian Eatery, customers and employees have complied. Archie Donoho says it gives him one less thing to worry about.
“It’s a real relief that 99 percent of the people want to wear the mask,” Donoho said. “They want to protect other people. Not necessarily just themselves but the other people that they deal with. You run into people all the time. And that’s what it’s about: making everybody else safe.”
The Springfield Police Department says if someone is witnessed not complying with the mask ordinance, that person will be given a citation. As of January 3, 2021, 11 citations have been issued, all to individuals. If a business asks someone to leave and they refuse, that would be considered trespassing.