• By The Financial District


California’s restaurant industry wants its money back.

Attorney Brian Kabateck is representing restaurant owners from some of the state’s largest counties in government claims filed Monday, KCRA 3 News reported.

Kabateck said the owners want to be refunded fees paid for liquor and health permits and tourism fees.

He said even when restaurants were forced to close at the start of the pandemic in mid-March as a way to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, owners still had to pay the full cost of fees. Many restaurants across the state have since reopened with capacity limits.

Kabateck estimated the fees could exceed $100 million statewide.

Claims have been filed against the state and against Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego and Monterey Counties. Additional claims will be filed in San Francisco, Fresno and Placer counties.

The state and counties have 45 days to respond to the claims.