Spotsylvania County restaurant owner says he’s staying open after license suspended for COVID-19 violations

Health officials in Spotsylvania County suspended a Virginia restaurant's license for failing to comply with COVID-19 rules but the owner says he's staying open anyway.

According to a report on, Matt Strickland, the owner of Gourmeltz in Cosner’s Corner, posted a video on YouTube telling customers that he would not close his place of business.

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"Bottom line is the governor said so - so you have to comply with these mandates," Strickland said in the video. "I told him politely – I said I’m not in the military anymore, I’m not gonna do something just because you tell me to do it. I’m a civilian now and if you want me to do something it needs to make sense and it needs to not infringe on my constitutional rights and it needs to be lawful."

Health officials say they say they first went to the restaurant in December after complaints about the lack of social distancing and employees not wearing face masks, according to They say they are working with other state agencies to determine the next step.