Raised in Woodbridge, Virginia, Matt Strickland decided to serve his country and joined the Army at the early age of seventeen. After multiple tours of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan, Matt decided it was time to share his gift of culinary masterpiece creations with the world! With a truck, a dream, and hard work Gourmeltz became a reality!
Fast forward to today, Gourmeltz is now a 90's Music Bar & Drafthouse located in Spotsylvania, Virginia. Gourmeltz is a friendly gathering place for the entire family offering specialty Gourmet Artisan Meltz, an amazing selection of Virginia beers, and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Since the beginning of Covid-19 flu in March 2020, Gourmeltz was forced to close its doors in compliance with government regulations and remained closed through June 2020. Matt looked forward to reopening the doors again and inviting the community back into Gourmeltz once the lockdown ended.
What has resulted since the government allowed for the slow reopening of restaurants and bars? Restaurants are jumping through higher hoops to remain open. Enduring more rules. More restrictions. More regulations, mandates, and curfews. The restaurant industry faced a roller coaster of orders, including reduced occupancy levels, a 10 PM alcohol cutoff, a ban on bar seating, and social distancing.
Matt, the owner of Gourmeltz, is taking a stand. His fear is these restrictions and financial hardships are pushing Gourmeltz and other family-owned small restaurants further to the brink of locking their doors again permanently – of abandoning the dream they built.
Currently, the Spotsylvania Health Department has ordered Gourmeltz to close for not following the governor's state-mandated Covid-19 mitigation measures. Matt has taken a stand for his restaurant, employees, and the community. He did not comply with the closure order and continues to operate.
It's too early to know what the legal ramifications could be for Gourmeltz. Health officials have told Matt that he could be fined or arrested for his failure to comply. Other possibilities include filing an injunction, seeking a Class 1 misdemeanor charge, and/or hefty fines.
For Matt and Gourmeltz, the only choice is to stand up for the rights he once fought for as a Veteran while serving his country overseas — or comply and lose his dream. Matt has chosen to take a stand and defend his rights. He is standing for his business, staff, American people, and other Veteran-Owned businesses in the same plight.
Do you stand with Matt? If you share in the same American spirit, Gourmeltz needs your help! Join the effort to support Gourmeltz with legal expenses, potential fines, unanticipated expenses, and other businesses willing to stand for the American spirit.
Support a loud voice to ensure that fairness and freedom are brought back to restaurants and bars hardest hit during the Covid-19. Let's help Matt, Gourmeltz, and other Veteran-Owned restaurateurs keep their dream.