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Orcutt wine bar owner who defied orders to close makes court appearance

ORCUTT, Calif. - The owner of a wine bar in Old Town Orcutt charged with defying public health stay-at-home orders appeared in court Thursday morning.

Former police officer Kurt Hixenbaugh, 49, appeared in Santa Maria Superior Court for failing to shut down his business during the pandemic. He chose to remain open and posted videos of his defiance on social media.

Hixenbaugh is co-owner of Vino et Amicis on South Broadway Street. In early December, Hixenbaugh said the bar would not close after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered many businesses, including wineries, breweries and bars to close their doors.

Hixenbaugh maintains his belief that there was no scientific-based evidence to close down his business.

He's been charged with two misdemeanor counts for violating the stay-at-home order and two misdemeanor counts for failing to file a public health order.

No plea was entered to the misdemeanor charges against Hixenbaugh and his arraignment was continued to June 15.

California / Crime / Money and Business / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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