Canfield café reopens after owner says he had to close because women made a scene about wearing masks

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The owner of Peaberry's Café said one of the women claimed to be from an organization targeting small businesses

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A café is Canfield has reopened after the owner says he was forced to close Monday to protect his business and employees.

It was a normal Monday morning for Chris Pendleton, who owns Peaberry’s Café on Route 224, until a woman walked in just before 11 a.m. without a mask.

“I said, ‘Excuse me, do you have a face covering?’ Instead, she started a scene at the counter, saying I didn’t have a right to ask her medical questions, and I didn’t ask her a medical question. I asked if she had a face mask,” he said.

That’s when Pendleton told her if she had a medical condition, she could sit down and they’d bring the food out to her. Not even 15 minutes later, another woman came in, causing the same scene.

“She told me she was part of an organization that she would not name and that the organization was targeting small businesses, and that the mask mandate is unconstitutional and they were going to cost us customers deliberately because people didn’t want to come in wearing masks,” Pendleton said.

He said it continued to escalate so he decided to close.

“It hurt us. We needed that day’s income. It hurt the single moms in the kitchen working, it hurt the college kids trying to pay for books and tuition. Everybody lost money.”

Pendleton posted the news on Facebook.

He said the support from the community has been overwhelming.

Peaberry’s reopened Tuesday for normal business hours.

“I’ve seen the people in this Valley are really great people. They don’t like being bullied and that’s been the message — ‘Don’t let them bully you. We support you. We’re going to come in.’ And it’s been a busy day,” Pendleton said.

He said if the women come back, he’s going to do just that.

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