Restaurant owner Glenn Helseth has been ordered by the National Park Service to close his establishment in Yorktown, Va., due to the government shutdown.
He tells Fox News’ Todd Starnes he has no intention to comply. “I am now occupying the building at this time,” he said.
Helseth and his wife have operated the Carrot Tree Kitchens Restaurant inside the historic Cole Digges House in Yorktown for the last 11 years. The Park Service apparently owns the building and ordered the couple to get out within 48 hours after the government shutdown went into effect.
“The couple also owns a restaurant on Jamestown Island. They had to close that restaurant after the National Park Service blocked access to the island,” Starnes reports.
With at least 20 of his employees facing unemployment, Helseth made the decision to intentionally defy the federal government and open his restaurant 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Plus, the building may be closed, but he still has to pay insurance, utilities, rent and the building’s security system.
“I’m serving Brunswick stew, ham biscuits and carrot cake,” he said. “If that gets me put in jail, I’m going to jail,” he said.
“I don’t wish to take a stand against my government,” he later added. “I’ve always been very proud of my country. [But] I don’t agree with what’s happening. I can no longer abide by what’s happening.”
He also told members of Congress they can be the ones to tell his employees that they no longer have a job because America’s lawmakers can’t “administrate.”
“They need to come down to my level and look at my people and say, ‘We’re going to shut you down. You cannot make any money because we can’t administrate,’” Helseth explained. “Let them come and lay my people off. Let them come and tell my staff they are out of work.”
To read Starnes’s full report, click here.