By: Jason Schreiber, Union Leader Correspondent
EPPING -- “What happened to Live Free or Die,” is the question posed on the sign outside Roselynn Homemade Ice Cream.
The restaurant closed Sunday until further notice after owner Joseph Bodge refused to require that his handful of employees wear face masks.
A defiant Bodge hasn’t mandated masks or asked the public to wear them despite the state’s COVID-19 guidance requiring restaurant employees in direct contact with customers to wear face coverings.
Bodge said he got a call from the state Attorney General’s Office on Oct. 15 informing him that someone had complained the restaurant at 153 Exeter Road wasn’t requiring masks.
He was given until early this week to come up with a plan, but instead of adopting a mask mandate, Bodge decided to close.
“This is just, unfortunately, something where they’re using a scare tactic to control. We made the hard decision. Either we followed the sheep or we stood our ground, which we’ve done from Day One, that everybody should have a free right on their decision. Rather than have the state send somebody in here to pull my license, we decided that we’ll do it on our terms and until we can get this straightened out, we will stay closed,” Bodge said.
The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, but also makes homemade ice cream and baked goods.
While the restaurant side is closed, Bodge said ice cream will continue to be sold by a masked employee until it’s gone, which will likely be the end of the week. At that point, the entire business will remain closed until the state lifts its mask rules for restaurants, he said.
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