SAN ANTONIO – A small local business is defending itself after it was cited by the City of San Antonio this weekend for violating COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.
Cullum’s Attagirl on East Mistletoe received a notice stating both workers and patrons were observed not wearing masks and not social distancing.
Chris Cullum, the owner and chef, said he finds that hard to believe.
“We follow the law. We follow the governor’s orders, the city orders and we work with the city,” Cullum said. “We are here to cooperate. We are not here to not wear masks while we are serving patrons. That was kind of crazy.”
He said he and his employees have taken the pandemic very seriously since the beginning.
“We are all humans, and worldwide, we are all going through this pandemic,” Cullum said. “We are not non-believers. We believe COVID is real. We shut down for three or four months doing strict curbside. We can only have 18 people inside at one time, and we block off areas to ensure social distancing is taking place.”
Cullum says his business has always been strict about mask-wearing and has signs posted around the establishment.
“They haven’t said anything, but I am guessing they want us to be a little more proactive in policing the actual customers while they are sitting there with their party,” Cullum said. “I don’t know what it is about telling us that we didn’t wear masks. Show me that on camera. Show me proof. We wouldn’t be in business if that happened. I don’t understand why anyone would want to do that.”
The citation also said the business didn’t have a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission license. The city of San Antonio states the license is supposed to be visible somewhere for people to see and that wasn’t the case.
However, the TABC says not only did Attagirl have a current license, but it was also in the process of renewing their license.
Cullum said he is still waiting for the new license to be delivered, which is why it wasn’t visible.
“If the person who issued the citation would have just looked us up through TABC, or even asked, he would have found out that we did have our license,” Cullum said. “We absolutely have a TABC license, and if we were operating without one, they would definitely be on us about it. We follow all of the protocols.”
Cullum said when the business got the citation, he didn’t have a clear explanation or a chance to ask questions before the deed was officially done. He said he hopes that changes so that small businesses like his can stay on the same page with the city.
“I would like to see some videos,” Cullum said. “Show us what we are doing wrong. How can we improve and what else is needed? And we will do it. You want us to go down to 25%, done; 50%, done; 75%? Whatever it is, we will comply.”
The city of San Antonio did not provide any more specifics about the citation. It issued another reminder for all businesses to continue to follow the city’s COVID-19 restrictions and regulations to prevent any citations from happening.
“Seeing is believing,” Cullum said. “Come in and see how we operate. Come in for yourself and put your own eyes on it, and you’ll see who we are.
We try to stay hidden and out of drama, but I want people to know we are here to comply. We are here for the long-run. My family has been in service for San Antonio for over eight years, and I am a servant to San Antonio. I want people to know we love our customers, and we will continue to do what we have been doing to keep everyone safe.”