Customers upset and confused over Collier County restaurant location

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. – A restaurant along Bonita Beach Road sits just south of the county line between Collier County and Lee County causing has visitors confused over facemask mandates.

North of the road, visitors are in Lee County, where masks are encouraged but not required.

Crossing the road means crossing the county line, into Collier County, too. There, a mask mandate has been in place since late July.

The Fish House Restaurant near Hickory Blvd may be in Bonita Springs. But it’s located in Collier County.

The restaurant has mask mandate warning signs plastered inside and outside the building and put their Collier County Business certificates on display. But employees said somehow their warning to customers sometimes still gets lost.

Neyda Ramirez is the first person you’ll see when you walk into the restaurant. Working as a hostess, she said turning people away hasn’t been easy. “…they just don’t want to follow the rules and they are just so rude to us that they just cuss us out,” she said, “What can we do? We just have to tell them ‘have a nice day and that’s it’.”

Across Bonita Beach Road, in Lee County, some businesses like the Bonita Smoke Shop took it upon themselves to create their own mask mandate.

Manager, Lawrence Fromhart said, “Kind of just taking a more cautious approach with some people who are adamantly against it won’t come in because of it.”

He said taking extra precautions during times of uncertainty is necessary. He said “Whether it’s mandated or not…if somebody is telling me this can be curbed… I’ll do my part, it’s not that big of an issue.”

Collier County’s mask mandate expires October 22nd. But the Fish House said they don’t plan to stop requiring masks inside anytime soon.

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