Spiffy’s Restaurant in Chehalis open despite pressure from state officials

Dec 3, 2020, 5:24 AM | Updated: Dec 4, 2020, 11:20 am

Spiffy's restaurant, order...

Spiffy's Restaurant in Chehalis. (Photo from owner)

(Photo from owner)

Rod Samuelson and his wife have owned Spiffy’s Restaurant in Chehalis for 50 years, and says he’s been closed down twice this year as a result of the lockdowns. He believes enough is enough and is reopening in defiance of Gov. Inslee’s mandates, which he says lack proof that restaurants are big spreaders of COVID.

“I’m elderly, I’m retired, and I’m going to be 81 years old here in another month. And the money that we drew, at least the money that we’ve had for this building and equipment that we own out there sponsored a lot of Christian organizations and stuff. I don’t want to go into all that, but it’s an important part of our of our lives and the employees,” he told the Dori Monson Show.

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“I’ve got a waitress that’s been there for longer than my manager, who has been there for 34 years. I’ve got another waitress for 20 years. I’ve got several in the teens that are 16, 18 years,” he added.

As Dori suggested, he believes that when a restaurant goes public with their defiance of the mandates, it leads to agents showing up and issuing fines. Is Samuelson worried this will happen at Spiffy’s?

“Well, I guess to some degree, yes. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want it to happen to my employees. I respect the governor’s position. I don’t respect Governor Inslee, but I respect his office and I don’t want to bring bad things down on our state and our governor or the office. That’s not me,” Samuelson said.

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What bothers Samuelson most is Inslee’s claim that restaurants are big spreaders of the virus, which he doesn’t find factual.

“I don’t care if our restaurant would be given the opportunity to open for 25%. I have enough seats that we can do it,” he said. “But I take exception to his statement that this pandemic is being spread by restaurants — there’s no proof of that. We have taken every possible step that he has mandated or suggested. We wipe down our menus faithfully, we wipe down the table. Sanitizer, I went and bought from a distributor.”

“Now that we’re reopening, we’re not just saying, ‘Oh, we’re not going to worry about it.’ We do worry about it,” he added.

If agents show up, he says he’ll ask for proof that Spiffy’s is causing further spread of COVID-19.

“I’m going to say, ‘Show me where I’m in defiance as far as the the cause of this problem, show me some statistics that restaurants are in defiance here and the cause of it.’ And so if they could do that, I’ll shut her back down,” he said. “But they can’t, I know they can’t.”

Samuelson returned to the show again on Thursday to let Dori know there’s been a flood of support. He also emphasized again that he’ll keep Spiffy’s open, despite visits from L&L and the threat of fines.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Spiffy’s Restaurant in Chehalis open despite pressure from state officials