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Coronavirus Tyranny: One California Business Fought Back, But Ultimately Lost

Last year, Joseph Tahanian was featured in a local news report about his decision to defy the coronavirus lockdown, but he relented after being “threatened” after the show aired.

Joseph Tahanian fought back against the horrendous coronavirus tyranny in Montrose, California, but alas, his business is just the latest to fail. Last year, Tahanian was featured in a local news report about his decision to defy the coronavirus lockdown, but he relented after being “threatened” after the show aired.

In July, 2019, the Wine Cave was described as a “Popular Montrose Hangout” and “a fabulous venue to hold events and private parties”.

In April, 2020, the local Fox affiliate did a story featuring the small business, which explained at the time that Tahanian was reopening his business in defiance of government lockdowns. “He is feeling desperate because the bills are mounting and everything he’s worked for is slipping away,” according to the article. “He says he is sick of the double standards,” it continued.

At the time, Tahanian posted a GoFundMe where he explained in part:

“With all that’s happening with the Covid-19 we are unable to conduct business as usual. As you all know rent in Montrose is very expensive and during these tough times we are struggling to keep the Wine Cave open…”

On April 8th, Bill Melugin, the journalist who interviewed the small business owner back in April 2020 Tweeted a sad update:

“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. He just called me. He lost his business today.”

The same journalist, by the way, exposed the images of Governor Gavin Newsom flouting his own lockdown rules at The French Laundry restaurant, which is evidently still open.

Renee Nal

Renee Nal is an investigative journalist and documentary film producer.

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