California wine bar that defied lockdown orders forced to shut down permanently

After reopening his business in the face of pandemic related lockdowns last spring, Joseph Tahanian's business has closed down permanently.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

After reopening his business in the face of pandemic related lockdowns last spring, Joseph Tahanian's business has closed down permanently, Bill Melguin of FOXLA tweeted Friday.

Tahanian owned the Wine Cave in Montrose, California, a wine bar that was forced to close under California's early pandemic restrictions.

Melguin had talked with Tahanian in the original story, which aired in April 2020. Tahanian had made the hard choice to reopen his business, knowing that authorities would see the story.

"Unless they handcuff me and take me to jail, I will not close. I will be open starting Friday," Tahanian had said last spring.

Tahanian's business had been closed down for 7 weeks at that point. The decision to open was made to save his business.

"I need to have the revenue to survive... If I don't do this, I don't think my business will survive," said Tahanian.

"I haven't received any grants. I haven't received any PPP loans that they're supposed to give us. I'm on my own at the moment, that's what I feel like."

In an update to the story Friday, Melguin said that Tahanian had lost his business, after being forced to close down again shortly after the report last spring.

"April 2020, I took these photos of Joe Tahanian, owner of The Wine Cave, a bar in Montrose. We did a story w/ him about how he planned to stay open during lockdowns. The day after it aired, authorities threatened him, & he complied," the tweet from Melguin reads.

"He just called me. He lost his business today"


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