MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A Northern California café is stirring controversy after a sign posted in the front of their store was shared on social media.

A TikTok video captured the sign displayed at Fiddleheads Café in Mendocino, located about two hours northwest of Santa Rosa.

The sign read:

“Throw your mask(s) in our trash bin and receive 50% off your order.”

The shop gained statewide attention after the video circulated across different social media platforms.

Chris Castleman, the café owner, defended his stance on facial coverings and other guidelines under the county’s health order.

His business was fined $10,000 for failing to comply with the county’s face covering mandate.

Last year, Castleman wrote a letter to the community.

“I respect everyone who has been taking actions over the past few months to protect their family, friends, coworkers, and the community. But protecting our health does not just end with COVID-19. There are serious negative effects of an economic shutdown and lack of social interaction on a person’s mental well being. Depression, suicide, child abuse, domestic abuse, substance abuse, etc. These sometimes permanent consequences have been researched and documented for decades.”

I will not stop cooking meals for my community.
I will not cover my business in plexiglass and plastic tarps.
I will go to the beach with my dog.
I will hang out with my friends at the park.
I will give handshakes to strangers.
And I will never be forced to hide my smile.

I’m not asking you to agree with me, but please for goodness sake,
Do not criminalize normal human behavior.

After the video went viral, several took to Yelp to give their two cents about the poster and the owner’s remarks.

Yelp put a disclaimer on the Fiddleheads Cafe’s page due to the amount of activity the page was receiving.


On Fiddleheads website, there is a link to a GoFundMe page titled “Help Fiddleheads Cafe hire a lawyer.” The GoFundMe has raised more than $3,000, at last check, with a goal of $5,000.