Rick Savage, owner of Sunday River Brewing Co., talks to a reporter outside his restaurant. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Sunday River Brewing Co.’s owners have been found in contempt of court after defying an order to close for violating coronavirus restrictions.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reported that Oxford County Superior Court Justice Thomas McKeon imposed a $5,000 fine for each day Rick and Ron Savage, the Bethel brewery and restaurant’s owners, continue to operate in defiance of the order.

The brothers’ attorney told the newspaper Monday night that they intend to comply with McKeon’s order.

Earlier this month, McKeon ordered Sunday River Brewing to close for 30 days. That came after Sunday River Brewing flouted an October injunction restricting its operations until its licenses were reinstated after new violations of state coronavirus mandates, including not following the face covering order.

But Rick Savage promised to defy the Nov. 12 order, despite accruing $600 fines for each day Sunday River Brewing remained open.

Savage has been a vocal opponent of Gov. Janet Mills’ economic restrictions since the spring, even reading Mills’ cellphone number during an appearance on Fox News.

After continuing to operate despite having his licenses temporarily revoked, Sunday River Brewing was ordered to close in May, but Savage pledged to defy the order even if it meant going to jail.

Savage also joined other Maine business owners to sue Mills over her economic restrictions meant to halt the virus’ spread. That lawsuit sought an injunction to order her to allow businesses to immediately reopen and to end a 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors to Maine.

Judge Lance Walker in August ruled in Mills’ favor, but Savage and others appealed that ruling to the federal circuit court in Boston before eventually withdrawing that appeal last week.

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