Earlier today, AZ Central and other media organizations reported on the Euro Cafe in Fountain Hills. Our investigative team contacted the restaurant owner. The owner Merita Kraya released this statement and told us over the phone her legal team is waiting for the proper documents and to face the Mcdowell Mountain Justice Courts to determine if these allegations have any truth behind them.
Here is Merita’s statement:
PUBLIC STATEMENT OF EURO PIZZA
“Euro Pizza Café has been serving customers in Fountain Hills, Arizona for over 19 years. We serve our customers both through on-premises dining, as well as by way of take-out and delivery.
Prior to March 30, 2020, Governor Doug Ducey issued recommendations in response to the COVID 19 health pandemic. On March 30, 2020, Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 18 which permitted certain businesses, including restaurants which were deemed to be “essential” to continue operation with restrictions.
Since March 17, 2020, when the original recommendations of Doug Ducey were published, Euro Pizza has reached out to several state and local government officials and agencies to make sure it complied with the Governor’s recommendations, and then Executive Order. Such efforts have included communications to current Town of Fountain Hills Mayor, Ginny Dickey, communications and in-person meeting with Town of Fountain Hills Manager, Grady Miller, and invited investigations by the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department and the
Arizona Liquor Licensing and Control – all at the premises of Euro Pizza.
While neither Maricopa County Environmental Services Department and the Arizona Liquor Licensing and Control found any violation [s], Euro Pizza took numerous steps to ensure compliance with the recommendations and the
Executive Order by our Governor. For example, we do not permit in-house dining – only carry out and delivery; two options we offered prior to COVID 19; take-out and delivery takes place outside our front door and packaged in to-go containers and bags; we have a limited staff only serving to-go and delivery orders, we require customers to keep distance from each other; and we disinfect surfaces throughout the day.
Euro Pizza is located adjacent to the Town of Fountain Hills’ Fountain Park – which the Town has decided to keep open despite Governor Ducey’s recommendations and Executive Order. That being said, and because of our location, many customers and non-customers use the Fountain Park facilities, i.e. benches, tables, lawns, as well as the Common Areas located outside of Euro Pizza and surrounding the commercial complex.
Notwithstanding Euro Pizza’s efforts, the Town of Fountain Hills, working with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, have facilitated investigations of Euro Pizza. To date, Euro Pizza has been visited on at least 23 occasions by representatives of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the last visit resulting in the issuance of a Criminal Citation to the owner of Euro Pizza.
Euro Pizza will continue to do its best to comply with Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 18, as well as any modifications of the same so as to do its part to respond to the challenges of COVID 19.”
With the growing desire of Arizona residents to decompress and enjoy a meal outside the confines of their homes, customers should consider the legal repercussions of their actions when enjoying the local restaurant establishments.
Link To AZ Central’s narrative
With photos like these, we want to ask the public one question.
How is a local restaurant that is doing everything it can to follow the rules set forth by Gov. Duecy, come under such direct attention by the media as a guilty participant when the evidence is simply not there?
Just like the pictures above; Merita has maintained they are doing everything in their power to limit customers ability to violate any of the states social distancing orders and guidelines for restaurants.
With alcohol being served in to-go cups, and restaurants changing business practices, we must understand the responsibility that everyone must take. Good, safe decisions are necessary for both residents and business owners to do their part when picking up or providing food.
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