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Restaurant faces over $67,000 in state fines for defying orders

The fine for Washington businesses violating coronavirus restrictions is $9,000 per day. One owner now owes over $67,000.

CHEHALIS, Wash. — Spiffy's restaurant in Lewis County is racking up fines for allowing indoor dining, which is prohibited under Washington's statewide coronavirus restrictions.

The penalty is more than $9,000 each day they allow indoor dining. The total penalty due is now more than $67,000. 

The Chehalis restaurant owner told KING 5 on Tuesday that those fines are "old news" to him and he's not going to close.

During a Tuesday news briefing, Gov. Jay Inslee said, "for those business owners who are breaking the law, which they are doing by staying open, you should have to answer to your fellow business people that you are jeopardizing in a sense and being very unfair to." 

RELATED: Gov. Inslee extends COVID-19 restrictions until Jan. 4

In recent days, there have been lines for lunch at Spiffy’s. The restaurant has been around for almost 50 years. The owner said he would not be able to keep his staff of 30 employed if he was only offering takeout. 

An Olympia restaurant, Farm Boy, has racked up $57,000 in fines for staying open, according to the state. The restaurant owner told KING 5 he had not heard of the fines and remains open

Inslee is not backing down.

"We will act accordingly to move toward compliance," said Inslee.

The governor added that a vast majority of businesses are complying with restrictions.

A spokesperson for Labor and Industries said businesses blatantly violating the governor's orders may face fines or even lose their business license.