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Above:  Over 150 people - not in masks, or social distancing - showed up to support Rick Savage’s reopening of Sunday River Brewing Co. Restaurant in Bethel, Maine.  Savage pledged to reopen on May 1st in defiance of Governor Mills’ Statewide lockdown through May 31st. Right:  Owner, Rick Savage with Republican Congressional Candidate for Maine’s District 2, Adrienne Bennett.            photos/Adrienne Bennett 


Restaurant Owner Defies Big Sister's Lockdown. 

Reopens on May 1st


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, May 6, 2020


BETHEL, Maine - Restaurant owner, Rick Savage defied Maine Governor, Janet “Big Sister” Mills’ statewide lockdown extension by reopening his restaurant on May 1, after being closed for six weeks.  All restaurants in Maine have been ordered closed to dine-in customers for an additional four more weeks, by order of the Governor.

   Savage appeared on Tucker Carlson’s program on Fox News on the eve of his grand reopening.  “We closed for six weeks, we cooked for our community, we went right through our whole restaurant, remodeled it, cleaned it and it’s time to open back up,” Savage told Carlson.  “I’ve got a restaurant that seats 250 people inside; a deck that seats a hundred, a 2200 square foot patio, so I could put people at six foot spacing everywhere and get opened back up for business.  So, if each person does that in the State of Maine and tailors their business for what works and people feel comfortable coming in, come in.”

   “We tried calling the governor.  You can’t even get a hold of [her].  The lawmakers are left in the dark, both Republicans and Democrats.  She’s doing this all rogue, on her own.”

   “Last night, I had the exhilarating experiencing of attending the Re-Opening of Sunday River Brewing, joining many Mainers who agree that Governor Mills has gone too far and that her unilateral “emergency” actions are causing irreparable harm to the Maine economy,” said Adrienne Bennett, Republican Congressional candidate for Maine's District 2.  “While we were there, owner Rick Savage received word that the Mills Administration would be revoking his restaurant and liquor licenses, effectively shutting them down.  How sad that Janet Mills has taken weeks to allow self-employed Mainers to even apply for unemployment benefits, but she can mobilize to shut down a business in a matter of moments.”

   Savage plans to stay open and just pay the daily fines.

   During his six weeks of government-mandated lockdown, Mr. Savage provided 10,000 free meals throughout his community in order to help his fellow neighbors in their time of need.  This has infuriated Big Sister Mills, though, since it was her goal from the beginning to heap an equal distribution of misery among Maine people; she hopes to continue that misery through the summer.