JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) – In a matter of weeks, Jackson County issued a warning, two tickets and pulled the food permit for Rae’s Café.

Rae’s is no longer alone in its shift to private club ownership in an attempt to avoid the mask order in Jackson County.

On Thursday morning, Leed’s Diner in Kansas City posted signs out front stating it’s a private club, not open to the public.

Anyone hoping to dine inside must join the club by paying a one dollar fee and signing their name.

“Where we’re at is, we know that if they would come in while the mask mandate was there, then we would probably be fined,” said owner Esther Peterson. “So I figured we’d go ahead and make the decision now. Go ahead and stand now.”

Regulars and first-timer’s alike were surprised by the sign on the door.

“Well I was a little bit shocked,” said regular Brenda Zeltman. “But, if that’s the difference between closing this place down and having it become a private club, I’m glad to see it [as] a private club.”

Most customers hadn’t heard about the new potential loophole in the mask order exempting private clubs.

Peterson said all is fair.

“We can tell all the politicians who do the same exact thing that they made the loophole and we’re just going by it,” she said. 

Rae’s Café has been private for about a week.

Thursday afternoon, the county posted another notice to close on the front door.

It said in part: “Based on your continued violation of the Order and disregard for enforcement actions, Rae’s Café… is closed effective immediately to protect the health and safety of residents of Jackson County.”

Jackson County Health

KCTV5 reached out to the Kansas City Health Department for comment.

They weren’t available to speak with us today.

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