Video of Cafe Offering 50% Discount to Customers Who Won't Wear Masks Sparks Renewed Backlash

Folks all over the internet are expressing anger and frustration after one restaurant's COVID-19 policies, which ignore state health and safety guidelines, went viral on TikTok.

According to The Daily Dot, Mendocino's Fiddleheads Cafe first garnered attention in June 2020 after posting a controversial anti-mask sign in their window. The same month, the cafe was fined $10,000 by Mendocino County for failing to file a "self-certification" with the health department.

That same month, the restaurant was forced to close by the county. According to a GoFundMe set up in support of the cafe, they were raising money to hire a lawyer who would, as they put it, "defend our right to stay open and serve our customers." The GoFundMe has since raised $1,748 of its $2,000 goal.

Since then, Fiddleheads Cafe appears to have reopened its doors—but is once again attracting controversy.

The recent viral TikTok post documents anti-mask signage in Fiddleheads Cafe's window.

"Throw your mask(s) in our trash bin," reads one sign, "and receive 50% off your order."

Next to it, the cafe outlines its policies with regard to COVID-19.

"ATTENTION," says the sign, "This environment may not be suitable to everyone. Please do your part to keep our town friendly, welcoming, and tolerant." It also states that by entering the restaurant, patrons are offering their "consent" to a number of potentially unsafe policies, including:

"People might not be wearing masks. Please respect their freedom to breathe."

"People may be within 6ft of one another. Please respect their freedom to socialize."

"People might not be 'local.' Please respect their freedom to travel."

"People might not be vaccinated. Please respect their freedom to live naturally."

The video also reveals the corner of what appears to be a "Don't Tread On Me" flag hanging inside the cafe.

The video has accumulated over 700,000 views in a mere two days, and the comments section reflects a divided audience.

Several users offered their support to the cafe. "Good for the owners," wrote one commenter. "All places should do this," said another. Countless others, however, expressed shock and frustration.

"As a Californian, I don't claim them," wrote one user.

"Remember when scientific research and biology wasn't political?" added another.

Angry viewers and customers are also flocking to Fiddleheads Cafe's Yelp page, where they are protesting the restaurant's policies by flooding them with negative reviews.

One review, posted by Lily T. on March 30, says she "couldn't believe [her] eyes" when she went to Fiddleheads to pick up a to-go order. "When we arrived we were shocked that not one person was wearing a mask including the workers. No social distancing, no masks, and no limited capacity."

Natalie T. echoes the same point. "Disrespectful owners and workers," she wrote. "They should be ashamed of themselves. They don't believe in science at all! Very disrespectful to the millions of people who have lost their battle to this virus."

Mask On Ground With Leaves
A California cafe's anti-mask attitude has sparked controversy among guests. David Gannon/Getty Images