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No love: Porfirio’s shut down during Valentine’s Day rush

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.
Porfirio’s was shut down after its own Facebook page showed a crowded dining room. Photos: Courtesy

Porfirio’s Restaurant was shut down by state health authorities for violating capacity limits, Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila said. Fines could reach 180,000 pesos, or around US$9,000.

The upscale eatery has been popular with groups since it opened, and was voted the city’s No. 1 restaurant on Tripadvisor. Management had promoted Sunday for Valentine’s Day celebrations. The promotion’s success was indicated on Porfirio’s own Facebook page when imagery showed a busy dining room.

“I regret that we have establishments that don’t take the seriousness of the pandemic seriously,” Vila posted on social media.

Porfirio’s had promoted Valentine’s Day specials on Facebook.

Personnel from the State Health Secretariate, Government General, Public Security and as well as the State Civil Protection Coordination paid a surprise visit and found various sanitary measures — in place for the coronavirus crisis — were disregarded, the governor said.

Diners on Tripadvisor, a hugely influential review site, raved about the restaurant and at times noted its attention to health protocols.

“All health protocols are in place and taken seriously……every hour at the sound of a whistle … the staff is required to wash their hands and re-sanitize,” one customer posted two weeks ago.

“The menu is extensive and the management takes covid protocols seriously,” said a visitor from Virginia. “We passed through a sanitation mist on the way in and noticed the staff members were all required to wash their hands each hour.”

Porfirio’s is one of the Harbor Lifestyle Mall’s most popular destinations. It is owned by Grupo Anderson’s, a Mexico City-based company that owns 44 restaurants and 14 restaurant brands — including Señor Frog’s and Carlos’n Charlie’s — in four countries.

Yucatán continues to cite residents and businesses for coronavirus violations. Previously, authorities pulled the plug on a lasso tournament that drew 100 spectators in Baca, a sports field in Chichí Suárez, a teen beach party in Chicxulub, another party in Kanasín, and at least three bars in Mérida — Chill Out, La Perdida Bar and El Lagarto.

Previously: Yucatán sweeps businesses, accusing them of packing in too many people

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