The owner of a Maine brewpub had his health and liquor licenses revoked over the weekend after he announced on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that he was reopening his business despite a statewide shutdown.
Rick Savage, the owner of Sunday River Brewing Co. in Bethel, announced on Fox Thursday night that he was reopening his business despite Gov. Janet Mills’ executive “stay safer at home” order to combat the coronavirus.
On Friday, Mr. Savage reopened his establishment to the public, and within hours the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations seized his health license, and in effect his liquor license, the Sun Journal reported.
President Trump highlighted the story in a tweet Sunday morning.
“Many complaints coming in about Maine,” the president wrote. “I love that State, won Maine 2 - Don’t make the cure worse than the problem itself. That can happen, you know!”
Mr. Savage was a speaker Saturday at a large reopen protest at the Statehouse in Augusta, urging other business owners to defy the state and reopen their doors, the Sun Journal reported.
Mr. Savage told the outlet that said he planned to sue the state for lost wages during the shutdown and said he had raised nearly $100,000 to go toward his legal efforts.
He added that he would operate his business unlicensed and would deal with the repercussions later.
Oxford County Sheriff Christopher Wainwright told the outlet that criminal charges were not expected to be filed against the pub owner.