Senator Rand Paul, along with some Republican friends, visited a Washington, D.C. restaurant Tuesday to help the company, which was closed for violating COVID-19 masking and vaccination mandates.
Just hours prior to the protest, the city issued a notice of shutdown to the restaurant.
Thank you for your support @thebigboarddcTonight with friends and staff! DC shut down this company over absurd vaccine mandates and mask requirements. Help them here – https://t.co/6BV9mx5sj2
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 2, 2022
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D.C. Shuts Down the Restaurant
Paul and sone of his staff members ate burgers at The Big Board restaurant, where the owners had been refusing to comply with the city’s local COVID mandates.
Washington, DC officials had already fined Big Board for not requiring staff to wear masks. It even lost its liquor license.
Just one hour before Paul arrived, the city’s health department put a closure notice on the business’s front door.
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) February 1, 2022
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Co-Owner: ‘I just know that I’m doing the right thing’
Paul told the Washington Examiner regarding Big Board co-owner Eric Flannery, “It’s a big decision — civil resistance, civil disobedience — when you lose your livelihood. So I’m incredibly proud of him.”
Paul introduced legislation to prohibit Washington, D.C., from applying such mandates.
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, fellow Kentuckian with Paul, was also at the restaurant for the protest and said that if more business owners would resist the mandates “it’d be unenforceable.”
.@RandPaul: “He’s saying, my individual liberty is worth the price of me even losing my business.”
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) February 2, 2022
“I would encourage more people to do it,” Massie said. “Each person, I think, needs to push back to the ability of their meansAnd not everybody can afford to lose their job over this.”
Owner Flannery said, with tears in his eyes as he addressed his staff and reporters, “When people asked me, ‘What are you going to get on the other side of this?’ I don’t know.”
“I just know that I’m doing the right thing,” Flannery added.
. @RepThomasMassie @RepTimBurchett, and @RepSpartzThe support for the shut-down Big Board joint was also provided by Rand Paul. Rand Paul planned to attend, but he didn’t know that the DC Health Dept would shut down his support group due to non-compliance with vax/mask regulations pic.twitter.com/77YknC1Kce
— Emily Brooks (@emilybrooksnews) February 2, 2022
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“I decided that this bar was going to be what it is, which is a place where everybody is welcome,” Flannery said. “My servers, they are not less or people that need to be masked. They don’t carry disease. They always wash their hands. They’re clean. They follow the health guidance.”
Ronny Jackson, Victoria Spartz and Kevin Hern were also present at Big Board to support Tim Burchett.
Big Board patrons flocked to the bar for one final night on Tuesday. However, it is not clear what will happen next. Keep watching.