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Masks made him do it: Huntsville restaurant owner bans leaders, doctors

They are banned 'indefinitely'

Posted: Jul 16, 2020 8:44 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2020 2:53 PM

The owner of a Huntsville restaurant is so upset by Alabama’s mandatory mask-wearing order that he has banned six state and local officials from entering his restaurant “indefinitely.”

And one local leader is disappointed that he’s not among them.

Mike Heffelfinger, who identifies himself as the owner of Johnny Gryll’s II on the restaurant’s Facebook page, says the ban “is in response to draconian health orders issued by the aforementioned individuals requiring most people to wear a mask in Madison County and ultimately all of Alabama. These orders create unnecessary stress, liability, and physical, mental and financial burdens on the restaurant and its employees.”

So, he says Madison County Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison Mayor Paul Finley, Madison County Commission Chair Dale Strong, and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey aren’t welcome to break bread at his University Drive business.

As news of the post spread across social media, two things happened among the flood of comments.

First, the owner of the Johnny Gryll’s location at 2838 Jeff Road in Harvest went on Facebook to make clear it has no connection to the ban.

“The Johnny Gryll's location in Harvest is separately owned and operated from any other,” the restaurant posted.

“We appreciate our customers reaching out to us. We look forward to serving you some of the best burgers, Philly's, wings, chicken, and ice cream around town, but bring your mask.”

Secondly, Huntsville City Council President Devyn Keith posted on social media that he is upset he’s not banned, too.

He joked that if he was not added to the original post that he’d order masks “for all the employees!”

“I never get the attention I really want,” the president tweeted, tongue firmly in cheek.

Also adding: “No but seriously – wear a mask Huntsville.”

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