State agencies temporarily suspend restaurant’s license for violating public health order

"Of course the bills keep coming I’m like, ‘OK, yeah let’s do it.’ So as I’ve been saying, at Taste of Sicily, it is a green light all day long.”

  • Alanna Elder

(Palmyra) — All counties are now in the yellow or green phase of reopening, and restaurants in yellow counties can invite customers to dine outside.

One restaurant in Lebanon County, which is in the yellow phase, has temporarily lost its license for defying the state’s plan.

Taste of Sicily, a restaurant in Palmyra, posted two letters from the state Departments of Health and Agriculture to its Facebook page.

The letters were dated May 27 and June 1 and warned the restaurant was in violation of the state’s COVID-19 shutdown orders.

On June 3, the business received a temporary suspension of its license.

Michael Mangano’s family runs the restaurant. He said reopening early was his sister’s idea.

“She’s like, ‘hey, are you on board, you want to open up?’ and at first I was a little hesitant,” he said at a press conference this past Friday. “And then of course the bills keep coming I’m like, ‘okay, yeah let’s do it.’ So as I’ve been saying, at Taste of Sicily it is a green light all day long.”

Mangano’s mother, Silvana Drill, owns the restaurant.

“I’m even more ticked off about that, that this governor has come after my mom,” he said. “She’s almost 70 years old; she was semi-retired, and she was like, ‘hey, I want to open up a café.’ And I’m like, ‘are you kidding me? You’re semi-retired. Are you for real?’ But you know it’s in our blood as Italians – Italian Americans, we just want to go to work and do what we do.”

The office of State Senator Dave Arnold, a Republican and a vocal critic of Gov. Tom Wolf’s public health orders, organized the news conference.

Mangano said the restaurant has seen tremendous support from the community.

Last month, the state temporarily suspended the license of Round the Clock diner chain in York.

Several weeks ago, county commissioners in Lebanon approved a resolution declaring the county’s private and public sectors as moving to yellow – without the state’s permission.

The Wolf Administration officially moved the county to yellow more than a week ago.

It was one of the only counties to follow through on plans to defy the governor’s order.

 

WITF’s Alanna Elder is part of the “Report for America” program — a national service effort that places journalists in newsrooms across the country to report on under-covered topics and communities.

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