Police Visit Kendrick, Idaho Pub That Opened Early

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A Latah County Sheriff’s Deputy and an Idaho State Patrol detective both visited Hardware Brewing Company in Kendrick Idaho.

Desperate for money to take care of their family, they had no choice but to open earlier than Gov. Little’s recommended opening date.

Lewiston Morning Tribune has the full story:

With financial pressure and frustration with Idaho Gov. Brad Little mounting, Hardware Brewing Co. defied the Republican governor’s Stay Healthy Order and opened its doors Friday afternoon in downtown Kendrick.

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls; state Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston; state Rep. Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston; and Idaho GOP chairman and former U.S. Congressman for Idaho’s First District Raul Labrador were among the roughly 30 people who gathered in the first hour at the business to express their support and perhaps indulge in a brew or burger.

Law enforcement visited the business twice as of 5 p.m. Friday.
Christine Lohman, who owns Hardware Brewing Co. with her husband, Doug, said a Latah County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped by prior to the business opening at 4 p.m. asking if the owners understood the governor’s order. She said she told the deputy they did and he left.

Idaho State Police Detective Jake Schwecke had a somewhat lengthy discussion with the owners around 4:30 p.m. Political officials stood nearby and some appeared to engage in the conversation as well.

Schwecke told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that he told the owners they were in violation of the governor’s order and that he was not going to interfere physically with them.

“At the end of it, the consequences for him (Doug Lohman) are his choice,” Schwecke said. “The lieutenant governor’s here. What are you going to do?”

Christine Lohman said her business, which serves craft beer, local wine and food, served takeout for weeks leading up to Friday.

But her business is a “destination place,” she said, relying on customers driving from as far away as Moscow, Lewiston and Grangeville to enjoy the business’ atmosphere — not wait in their cars at the curb for a hamburger.

“They come here to enjoy the ambience, see the brewery, play some shuffleboard, enjoy the music and, you know, commune with family and friends,” she said.

Lohman said her business has earned one-sixteenth what it does when it is fully open. She said booking events at the brewery is a huge part of her earnings, but those events have been canceled.

Lohman said she is not going to police her customers, but law enforcement can.

“I’m not the Gestapo,” she said. “They’re all intelligent, critical-thinking adults. If they want to wear a mask, they’re welcome to.”

Lohman said she is behind on all of her bills and she and her husband have yet to receive unemployment assistance.

“We are going broke,” she said. “The mortgages are mounting, everything’s mounting. I can’t pay Avista. … We had to open.”

Under Little’s four-stage approach, Lohman’s business would be able to open either May 16 (Stage 2) or June 13 (Stage 4) at the earliest. Lohman said she did not know which date because it depends on if her business is classified as a restaurant or bar.

Under Stage 2, restaurant dining rooms can open once their plans have been submitted for approval by local public health districts. In Stage 4, bars and nightclubs can operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate.

Lohman said all businesses should be allowed to open now.

“We need to be allowed to work and survive,” she said.

Lohman said elderly people and those with compromised immune systems should protect themselves because they are most at risk for death from the virus, but the rest of the population should be able to work and make their own decisions.

“These people are healthy,” she said. “They’re adults. There’s something called liberty and they should have the right to make their own personal choices.”

McGeachin said she traveled to Kendrick from Boise after the Lohman’s invited her to their opening.

“I wanted to show them my support for their effort.”

She said the state should provide guidelines — not mandates — for people to follow during the pandemic.

“People can manage themselves and we know how to take care of our customers, our employees, our business,” McGeachin said. “We don’t need the government to mandate things.”

She said she is thankful Little lifted the stay-at-home order, but she is deeply opposed to the government deciding which businesses are essential and nonessential.

“It’s been frustrating because I have tried to convey as best as I can (to Little) the frustration and the anxiety that I sense from people all over the state and to convey how important it is that we try to do something to help the average person who’s been suddenly unemployed,” McGeachin said.

Since mid-March, Idaho has seen 117,811 people file for unemployment as of Thursday.

That’s twice the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

McGeachin said contrary to what Little said in his news conference Thursday, people are not receiving their unemployment checks.

She said she owns a pub in Idaho Falls and of the 22 employees she laid off, 15 have filed for unemployment and one has received a check.

“They want to just get back to work and help provide for their families,” McGeachin said. “It’s that simple.”

Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin made a Facebook post about the story as well.

You can see a screenshot of her post here.

Would you open your business early if it meant not losing it?

Let us know in the comments below.

16 thoughts on “Police Visit Kendrick, Idaho Pub That Opened Early

  1. Frank Jones Reply

    YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME, yep I’m sick of this crap so far we are going broke, no unemployment, no check from the IRS, norhing, we need our Businesses to open back up, no matter what our government says

  2. Jeannette Hagar Reply

    I have no use for Gov Little. He has made poor choices for Idaho! I will not be voting for him again. I actually didn’t want him for Governor but I wasn’t going to vote DEMOCRAT. I wont vote for him again! Even if I have to vote dem

    • Glenn Carpenter Reply

      So, voting Dem is the answer? How is handing Idaho over to the Socialists a better plan? I think McGeachin has a good shot at being Idaho’s first female governor. Seems she understands the value of liberty and personal freedom. The Socialists don’t believe in either concept.

      • Steven Feil Reply

        What an idiotic comment, Glenn. Little, and so many other of our so called R legislators, are RINO D’s. We had a chance to elect a TRUE R, but they ran another RINO against that person to split the vote. That is how D republicans work. People like you are too ignorant to see the difference and stick with the establishment.

  3. Pamela Mikolyski Reply

    That is awesome that you all didn’t support the a Governors agenda for the 4 stages of opening up IDAHO
    Thank you so much. Families put a lot of BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS INTO A BUSINESS FOR YEARS, and to Risk loosing it over the Order!!! I would of done the same thing to save my/Family bus. Salute you.

  4. Theresa Hayes Reply

    Yes, absolutely. I’m not effected the same way and “thank you Lord” that my husband did get his unemployment payment(s) in a timely manner. However, it’s not just about “me”. My heart bleeds for others that are scared to death of what this unconstitutional lockdown is causing Americans.

    I’m personally worried about what this is doing to all of us in regards to health. Our daily lives are not just about the VIRUS people. The actual VIRUS has not had any significant effect on many of us. Except… my husband doesn’t want to go to the hospital when his blood pressure is high or he is having an Afib incident. I don’t care to have a stupid “phone visit” with my doctor about my slipped rib. Thankfully, I have a chiropractor that will see me and treat me, but I probably should consult with my MD as well. You can’t check blood pressure over the phone nor can you perform the hooking technique on ribs to verify a diagnosis. I talked to a man the other day that has a son whose back surgery was postponed until around July because of all this.

    In the meantime, we can’t have an advocate for medical care. Loved ones are not allowed in. This is super scary. So does this also mean that medical professionals are no longer afraid of malpractice? Do they now have carte blanche as to what they do while treating patients? Where are the checks and balances?

  5. ron rohde Reply

    After seeing the article in the paper today I took a ride up there for lunch, the food, building, and owners are all top notch, well worth the trip, and although I didn’t have a tape measure with me, the tables appeared to be about 6′ 2″ apart for all of you sky is falling bunch!

  6. Vickie Long Reply

    Yes I will also be opening my bar in meridian, May 16th . They give you no choice ,I will not lose everything I have work so hard for . And at my age its not going to happen . The money the government wants give is nothing to compare what i lost .

  7. Guy Farrens Reply

    It’s time for all businesses to open up most business owners have more common sense than most of the politicians!!!!guy farrens

  8. Pingback: Idaho Businesses Should Open and Save Themselves! - GregPruett.com

  9. Robert Isenberg Reply

    Heard the news ! Hardware Brewpub is open, so for my Birthday we had lunch there and saw several friends ! Praying for Doug & Christine to save their business. Folks at Risk can stay home… or wear a mask n gloves.
    Thank you LT Gov for your support, and Raul Labrador! One of you needs to be our Governor

  10. Bradley Gorringe Reply

    As an Idaho Business that has been shut down for over 6 weeks and not approved to open for another 2 weeks I am curious how business will be after reopening…Please update the results after a week. My fear is that Idahoans might be reluctant to do “business as before” the trampling of out freedoms..
    We (my wife and I) have NOT received any of the funding that has been talked about, even though we applied for the PPP, State Unemployment for Sole Proprietors, Federal Econimic Disaster Assistance. Meanwhile our landlord at “Fast Lane Indoor Kart Racing” has been calling for us to pay the rent on our closed business. Our other business “Sikk Stuff” located in Karcher Mall in Nampa for over 20 years just reveived notice that the Mall will not reopen indefinitely, but please pay the back rent???

    I PRAY FOR ALL WHO ARE UNDER FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL STRESS AT THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES, AND THAT OUR FREEDOMS WILL NOT BE LOST.

  11. Valentine Reply

    I voted for Labrador because I could see the rhino from afar!

  12. Steven P Nuxoll Reply

    John bad elk vs. South Dakota. Look it up
    Also, get familiar with 18 usc 242 and filing a civil suit under title 42 litigation. If, acting under color of law, any officer takes actions that violate his oath to the constitution and are not within the limitations set by the constitution on any official use of their limited authority, he is not acting as an officer but as a private individual opening himself up to consequences where he would not be protected from being sued in his private and personal capacity. You can sue both the state government for unemployment lawful orders that are counter to the constitution and the officer in his private capacity outside of his status as a peace officer because he is not within his limits. Please search out this video. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q6VqkJ29Jh8&t=79s. It covers WAY MORE than just traffic laws. It’s very thorough and details everything Hardware Brewing Company is currently dealing with.

  13. Steven P Nuxoll Reply

    Employment of, not unemployment of * in my last comment

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