“$5 FEE ADDED TO ORDERS PLACED WHILE WEARING A FACE MASK,” a sign posted in the window of Fiddleheads Café reads.
The sign also says any customer “caught bragging” will also have to pay the penalty.
The owner of the café, Chris Castleman, said the proceeds from the fees will go to “charities that have been overwhelmed by collateral damage of the government lockdowns,” specifically those that deal with domestic abuse, suicide, and poverty, according to SFGate.com.
“I’ve been asked this entire time to put on a mask and [told] that that’s not a large request,” he said. “All I’m asking is a $5 donation to charity, and I don’t think that’s too much.”
Castleman said some customers are “more than willing” to pay the fee once they learn it’s going to charity.
But “some people are really upset by it,” he added. “You can see outside they were about to come in and they see the sign and turn away.”
California still has a statewide mask mandate in place, but Castleman said his café will continue to defy it, citing recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says vaccinated adults no longer need to wear masks in public settings.
“They’ve been on us for the past year,” Castleman said of the local government.
Last June, Castleman closed the café because he would not require his employees to wear masks.
One of the first signs he hung on the cafe door read, “THROW YOUR MASK IN THE TRASH BIN AND RECEIVE 50% OFF YOUR ORDER.”
Shortly after that sign was hung, Castleman was hit with a $10,000 fine for not enforcing the state’s mask mandate.