Pacifica yoga studio owner tells judge 'I'm staying open' despite order to close for COVID-19 violations

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By KCBS Radio

Forced to close his doors to the public by a San Mateo County judge, the owner of a Pacifica hot yoga studio remains defiant.

We stopped by Pacifica Beach Yoga at 1615 Oceana Blvd. early Friday and were told classes for the next few days have been canceled. "We’re not open today," owner Thomas Antoon told KCBS Radio. "I mean we’re not open tomorrow. We’re not open this weekend. We’re not open."

The 60-year-old Antoon claimed he’s being targeted by the county and has been fined thousands of dollars because he’s an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump.

He's reportedly been holding "mask-free" yoga classes, despite COVID-19 health orders requiring gyms and yoga studios remain closed.

Pacifica Beach Yoga's owner is defiant, despite orders from a San Mateo County judge forcing the business to close.
Pacifica Beach Yoga's owner is defiant, despite orders from a San Mateo County judge forcing the business to close. Photo credit Tim Ryan/KCBS Radio

"I have no plans on paying their fines. No," he said. "I will do whatever I have to do to not pay the fines and I’m going to say that because it’s not fair that I’m being fined because I’m doing nothing wrong."

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Chairman David Canepa said this is the first time the county is resorted to a court ruling to forcefully close a business. "You know your heart breaks for the small business owners," he said. "But at the same time it’s about the public health right now."

Antoon, who’s facing multiple lawsuits by the county, claimed at 105° inside, his hot yoga classes kill the coronavirus.