Spartanburg Co. restaurant doesn’t require masks despite governor’s order

State - Regional

SPARTANBURG CO., S.C. (WSPA) – A well-known Spartanburg restaurant is now going against Governor McMaster’s executive order that all employees and customers must wear a mask while inside a restaurant, unless they are actively eating.

At the corner of Boundary and Archer Streets, you’ll find an all-American, family-owned-and-operated Spartanburg staple that’s been running for 60 years.

“You can feel like an American at Ike’s,” owner Neil Rodgers said.

Ike’s Korner Grille is typically known for their bologna sandwiches, a homemade chili recipe passed down through the family, and their biggest money-maker: their cheeseburger.

“We’ve gotten a lot of awards for the best burger in Spartanburg over the past eight or ten years,” Rodgers said.

But now, going against the governor’s mandate, they’re known as a restaurant where neither you nor the person serving you is required to wear a mask.

“We’re in America,” Rodgers said. “Why can’t we do what we want to do?”

The owner of Ike’s, Neil Rodgers, posted a sign on the restaurant’s front door that says his employees won’t be wearing masks due to religious beliefs.

“It said in the Bible that the Lord doesn’t want His children’s faces to be covered. He wants people to see each other,” Rodgers said.

Some customers still choose to wear a mask inside anyway and Rodgers said he’s fine with that.

Every customer 7 News spoke with–mask or no mask–said they’re fine with Rodgers’ stance too.

“I understand the precautions you have to take while wearing a mask – it protects you and others,” customer Jordan Yates said. “But I also believe that you have the right to choose if you don’t want to wear one.”

“I think an American can do what he wants to do,” another customer Chuck Riddle said. “If you don’t want to be here, then don’t come here.”

Rodgers told 7 News he’s not worried about it hurting his business.

“I’ve seen a big influx,” he said. “Last week, on Friday, we sold over 500 burgers and we never do that in the summertime.”

And by the looks of it, he’s gotten a lot of support from the community.

“My friend here brought me and I love it, so I’m back and I’ll continue to come back,” Yates said.

A Spartanburg County deputy went by the restaurant on Thursday and issued a warning for disobeying the governor’s order. If Ike’s is written a citation, they’ll face a $100 fine.

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