How one local restaurant isn’t following OC Health guidelines like they should be

Nomads Canteen the night after they reopened and failed to not comply with guidelines. (Connor Hedges/Lariat)

Nomads Canteen, in San Clemente was a main destination for stay-at-home resistance Sunday, where the restaurant/bar was completely defying guidelines put into place by both California Governor Gavin Newson and the Orange County health department. Nomads opened the whole restaurant like they normally would before the pandemic was going on.

While quarantine and stay-at-home orders have lasted roughly two months, it has felt like two years to many. Going out to local restaurants for a bite to eat other than home cooked meals has been a treat for those who are trying to get out of their new rinse and repeat systems. 

Nomads has put both their restaurant and customers at risk by doing the following:

Social Distancing was completely ignored around all parts of the restaurant

Local restaurants have had to make many different accommodations to remain open in order to continue making money. Unfortunately many restaurants have had to temporarily close if they haven’t closed permanently. While it is understandable that Nomads was eager to re-open in order to stay afloat financially, they could be following the lead of other local restaurants who have completely shifted their operations to take-out only, as well as offering essential supplies that stores have been running out of. Social distancing at restaurants is difficult given the size of the establishment, but allowing a handful of people at a time or placing markers on the ground to stay six feet apart, is the best bet for adhering to local and state guidelines. The health and safety of your customers should be your number one priority at all times.

“I personally won’t go to Nomads during this time,” San Clemente local, Andy Ruiz said. “It’s not right that they are operating like normal while everybody else is trying to do their part of preventing the spread of the virus.”

By not following guidelines, they could be wiped of their alcohol license and/or shut down altogether

Nomad’s reopened its doors last week for the first time since the middle of March and didn’t expect the type of crowds that the reopening day brought. While bars and restaurants have been directed to have only take-out and the dining areas closed during this time, Nomad’s opened up their whole restaurant and patio. The Orange County Sheriff’s department and Orange County Health Department both paid visits to Nomads Sunday due to many complaints. A warning was given and if they were to continue operating under their own guidelines, penalties could start heading their way.

Not following State and County guidelines is only going to hurt the attempt to flatten the curve

Due to Nomads being located in the city of San Clemente where recent protests were, many citizens have chosen to gather together and completely ignore the lockdown protocol. It is very possible with many not following guidelines, the percentage of cases in Orange County could only increase, especially in San Clemente due to the rebellious people that came to Nomads like a pandemic wasn’t going on, a case that the Los Angeles Times reported on. Nomads reputation could be hurt tremendously due to the fact that they decided to cause a mass gathering and that’s if they don’t end up closing altogether.

“Citizens in the beach towns of San Clemente and Huntington Beach have ruined it for those following stay-at-home orders with the attempt to end the lockdown as soon as possible,” San Clemente resident, Sydney Cooks said. “The more they protest, the longer businesses will hurt.”

The Orange County Health department released a statement in regards to Nomads actions over the weekend


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It is important to support local businesses during these unprecedented times and one is more likely to support a business that changed their operations to safely function rather than a business that defied all guidelines. Nomad’s Canteen remains open and has responded accordingly at this point in time.