“$50 if I have to explain why masks are mandatory”

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted the mandatory mask mandate in Texas on March 2 but some business owners are still requiring that people wear a mask in their places of business.

Wayne and Kat LaCombe, owners of a Denton, Texas diner want customers to know that they require masks in their restaurant. They want customers to feel safe in their place of business. The sign says, “Our new surcharge: $50 if I have to explain why masks are mandatory. $75 if I have to hear why you disagree.”

Wayne LaCombe told CNN that he saw a similar sign online and thought “Oh, that’s funny. I’m gonna put that up because it does send a message. And not five minutes after I put it up, customers coming in were laughing and talking about it.”

One of their servers is an art student and she painted a person with a mask on the restaurant’s window with a caption that said “Masks required. It’s respectful NOT political”

The restaurant’s tables are spaced out, have hand sanitizers, and the diner is operating below capacity. Employees wear masks and wash their hands before they move from one table to another. Temperatures are taken before they enter the building.

Kat LaCombe is a retired oncology nurse with 28 years of experience. She has responded to some of the criticism on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“All we ask is that customers wear a mask as they walk past another person that is eating and not wearing a mask,” she wrote. “Sure doesn’t seem like a lot to ask…but apparently it is.”


The LaCombes opened their restaurant in October 2019 and closed for about two months because of the pandemic. They don’t know if their restaurant will survive another pandemic closure. “We feel it is urgent that we all do our part to keep the virus cases low.”

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