Medford Dairy Queen forced to close dining room due to customer mask pushback, treatment of staff
A Dairy Queen in Suffolk is taking action after some customers angrily pushed back against the state's mask mandate.
The Medford restaurant closed its dining room after customers repeatedly refused to comply with the state's mask mandate and verbal abuse toward its workers.
Patricia DeMint has co-owned the restaurant for four years with her sister. She says some customers were yelling and cursing at employees - furious over the new mask mandate.
DeMint says she had no choice but to shut the dining room down and have customers go exclusively to the drive-thru.
"It was a hard decision, but at the end of the I think it was the best one," DeMint says.
A sign on the door says, "We will not allow our team to be harassed and abused simply for following the state's mandate."
Regular customer Kaye Rosaia, of Bellport, says she was surprised the dining room was closed but agrees with the owners' decision.
"I understand," Rosaia says. "I think that's good. If people are going to be belligerent, then you can't get ice cream."
The store doesn't know when it is reopening the dining room, and says it is deciding what to do on a day-to-day basis.
The mask mandate remains in effect through at least Jan. 15.