A decades-old Sacramento, Calif. burger joint is shutting its doors for being out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act because the owner says he can’t afford to bring it up to code.
Ford’s Real Hamburgers has been slinging burgers, fries and shakes for years, but was hit hard in the recession. Now, KTXL-TV is reporting that a local attorney who makes his living filing ADA cases — many on his own behalf — is suing the restaurant — and Ford’s can’t keep up.
“We scrimped and saved and cut down the staff. I’m down to six employees,” owner Hank Vereschzagin told KTXL.
As the station noted, Ford’s is indeed out of ADA compliance: There isn’t enough room to roll into the bathroom in a wheelchair. But Vereschzagin said he just doesn’t have the money to fix the more than 60-year-old building.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m going to do next,” he said. “I just know I can’t keep this open.”
Scott Johnson, the attorney filing the suit, didn’t comment to KTXL about the Ford’s complaint, but he did speak to the station earlier this year when he was suing a diner.
“Being a quadriplegic, there’s nothing I can do about that,” Johnson said in February. “But these businesses that have structural barriers to access, that’s frustrating.”
Jerry Silvia, a longtime Ford’s customer who is paralyzed from the chest down, said the lack of accessibility has never stopped him from enjoying his regular order: a 1/3-pounder with fries.
“I’ve been coming here 21 years,” Silvia said. Of Johnson, he added: “He’s strictly crusading on his own behalf.”
(h/t Breitbart TV)