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Brew pub owner tells Tucker Carlson he will defy state order and open today

By Sun Journal Staff | May 01, 2020
Photo by: Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Rick Savage makes doughnuts in the kitchen of the Sunday River Brewing Company in Bethel the morning of May 1 in preparation for opening up his restaurant to the public in defiance of the state order.

Bethel — Rick Savage, owner of the Sunday River Brewing Co., said his restaurant is ready to serve people safely. The owner has challenged state officials to take him to court.

During his Thursday night broadcast, Fox News host Tucker Carlson interviewed Newry restaurant owner Richard Savage, who said he will open despite Maine’s executive order prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more.

On Thursday night, the restaurant’s Facebook page advertised only takeout service. Savage planned to open it at noon. On the restaurant’s Facebook page Friday, an updated notice indicated the restaurant would open at 4 p.m.

Savage told Carlson during the show that his 250-seat restaurant, with a 2,200-square-foot patio, is capable of seating people at 6-foot intervals. And it’s time to reopen.

Businesses such as golf courses, hair salons and car dealerships were allowed to open May 1 as long as they prevent more than 10 people gathering, and if they have enough space for people to practice social distancing.

Under the executive order issued Tuesday, Maine restaurants are permitted to open June 1, provided they are able to provide appropriate safety precautions.

Savage had nothing good to say about Gov. Janet Mills, who issued the executive orders restricting activity in Maine and set a timeline for its reopening. “She’s over her head,” he told Carlson. “She’s doing this to break our state even more than we are now.”

In 2012, Mills, an attorney with Preti Flaherty, represented Savage in court. He was arrested in May 2012 outside the Bethel Town Office after a selectmen’s meeting. He was charged with terrorizing, disorderly conduct and refusing to submit to arrest or detention.

Carlson, who owns a vacation home in nearby Bryant Pond, called Mills “the most dictatorial governor I’ve seen in a long time.”

Savage spent most of his on-air time talking about how his restaurant and tourism-based businesses across Maine need to reopen. “I really hope these restaurants open,” he said.

Savage then ended the segment by giving the governor’s cell phone number on the air, according to


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Comments (1)
Posted by: Ralph Stanley | May 01, 2020 17:41

Arrogant out of state prick. I trust he has his liability insurance paid up. First whiff of the virus coming out of his place, done and over.

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