The 21st Century American ‘Constitutional Battleground’ for Freedom

Tony Roman, the proprietor of ‘Basilico’s Pasta e Vino‘ restaurant, located in Orange County, Southern California, is a remarkable patriot. And Tony knows what gives him the inalienable rights to be a genuine patriot. It is called FREEDOM and LIBERTY.

When I first interviewed Tony in December 2020, the United States was already months into the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and government’s draconian orders and overreach, while Tony and his staff were standing firm against these unconstitutional actions using his business as what he calls a “Constitutional Battleground” to wage his battle against them.

In his attempt to unite all patriot restaurants and businesses to fight against lockdown tyranny and sacrifice for American freedom, also to encourage other business owners to pledge their businesses as Constitutional Battlegrounds, Tony launched a website called Make Restaurants Great Again.

Constitutional Battleground: Make Restaurants Great Again - Photo credit Tony Roman
Constitutional Battleground: Make Restaurants Great Again – Photo credit Tony Roman

The world has now supposedly been “gifted” with several COVID-19 vaccines, produced to “protect” humanity from the novel illness that is at war with mankind, while life is now, as big media likes to say, “cautiously returning to the normalcy people have been accustomed to.” All is fine and dandy, but what is missing is an update on the state of Tony’s ‘Constitutional Battleground.’

I contacted Tony and he updated me in the following interview:

NG: My first question to Tony: “What type of [real] support have you received from customers?

Tony: “Customers drive from as far away as Utah, Arizona, and Washington State and from San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, etc. So many who live in places where they feel most oppressed like Los Angeles, come in droves to express their support. Parents come with their young children, telling me they want their sons and daughters to see what America is supposed to look like. Show them the norm instead of the locked down society they see everywhere else.”

Our supporters share my message of defiance in defense of liberty with anyone who will listen. People from around the world call and write to express their support. I tell anyone that walks into our restaurant that it makes it clear they are there to support our fight, that they are now part of it. And when they hear me say that, they believe it and they feel it.”

NG: “What type of support did you get from other businesses?

Tony: “Businesses from around the country and even from overseas call to talk with me, wanting to be inspired to do what we have done. Many business owners, even competitors, come in to ask for my guidance. I ask them to join me in the same manner of open, bold and even provocative defiance, but none have done so fully as of yet. They seem to want to find the courage, but always fall short of the all or nothing fighting style we represent, because of their fear of repercussions.”

NG: “Who are you receiving support from? If not by name then categories, i.e., friends, customers, businesses, law enforcement, legislators, etc.?

Tony: “My biggest support has come from my mother, who although she continues to battle serious health issues, has supported and encouraged my stand from the beginning. She has always been a huge inspiration, because I watched her my entire life standing for what she believes in and speaking her mind. Also, always hearing her profess her love and devotion for America. Another supporter is one of my closest friends, Doug Wooding who is like family to me; someone I have known for over 25 years.

The 21st Century American 'Constitutional Battleground' for Freedom 1
Tony and his supporting mother Rosemarie – Photo credit Tony Roman

“Aside from my mother, no friend has been more loyal since day one, standing by my side throughout my entire fight against lockdown tyranny. Because I have been so distracted with ongoing various related battles, Doug even stepped in and has volunteered his free time to keep an eye on the business for me when I cannot be there, helping to hold down the fort, and sharing our message and story with customers. But also none of this has been possible without the support from the young members of my staff who I refer to as ‘The Goodfellas of Basilico’s.’ They have followed my lead and have never wavered in their support of my stand against the lockdowns. They are believers and they are patriots, helping me defend our constitutional battleground.”

NG: “Do the government’s orders make any sense?

Tony: “Hell no; because you do not shut down the United States of America for any reason. You do not order the self-imprisonment of American citizens or any people anywhere in the world. People have their God given rights, and so should choose for themselves how to best defend from potential risk and even danger. This is why I will never use exemptions or excuses for the stand I have taken. Because using excuses only gives credibility to their mandates, giving them authority over me when they have none related to these lockdowns. Doing so, would be like the old Soviet Union, when you are asked to show your papers when stopped on the street, when just taking a walk. I therefore take my stand based only on my God given rights, protected by our Constitution. I am a free American, nothing more needs to be said.

“This is why on February 27, 2021 I decided not to appear for my ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) hearing. I refused to go on a bent knee before a judge to answer for my actions. I rejected the invitation to defend myself in court for something that needs no defense. I refuse to give them that authority over me. So, instead I sent them an open video, in which I spoke directly to the court and the judge for all to see. In the video (below) I admonish the court, and demand they examine their conscience. To stand down and instead with me on the side of American freedom. I don’t think this has ever been done before, so I thought it was time. Also the this video in which I reject an OSHA search warrant to enter the restaurant premises.

NG: “What kind of government interference you have experienced this past year? What was their attitude, what was the outcome?

Tony: “Law enforcement has tried convincing me to comply and even shut down. The ABC of California have three or four cases against me, threatening to revoke my very hard earned and valuable liquor license. We also have a criminal case against us. And recently OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) agents attempted to enter our business to inspect. We refused them entry. When they returned with the police and a search warrant, we again refused them entry. We see our uncompromising stand as a battle of wills. Our will to defend freedom, and their will to wage tyranny on American citizens.

“We will test them and their threats at every turn. Because we are on the side of righteousness, the side of truth, we will of course prevail. In most wars, our military goes off to fight the enemy. But in this case the enemy is within, it is a domestic enemy, the enemy of freedom, it is our own government that decided to target small American business owners they see as the enemy. So I say that all business owners are obligated to think of themselves as soldiers in this fight, and commit their businesses also as battlegrounds, and when doing so be willing to risk it all for something so much bigger than ourselves.”

NG: “Do you think the governor of California is trying to make an example of you to stop others from rejecting their orders?

Tony: “I often refer to him as ‘Gavin Pelosi’ and ‘The Tiny Tyrant’ for obvious reasons. I have heard that we are certainly on his radar, because we have been provocative in our stand against the lockdowns. We have even in the press and on social media publicly dared him to officially file criminal charges against us instead of hanging the threat of criminal cases only being opened against us. Instead of running from the lockdown threats, we attack them. So, if the Governor wants a fight, let’s get it on. He has already turned his state agencies like the ABC into his ‘mini gestapo,’ calling them his ‘Strike Teams.’ Once these agencies worked with us, and now he intimidates them to work against us.”

NG: “Is the governor of California following his own rules? What about legislators?

Tony: “No, of course not. We have evidence of that when he dined at ‘The French Laundry’ restaurant. Many legislators have also been caught doing the same, evidence of them too being hypocritical. These are people who seem to look down upon the citizens they proclaim to care so much about and represent. But they always soon forget who they work for. But it is up to us, the citizens, to send them a strong reminder. This is why I am asking that Americans set a new standard for their elected politicians. Please, no more compromising. I get so angry when I hear people heaping praise upon governors of states like Texas and Mississippi, because they have recently dropped shutdown restrictions.

“These people need to stop thanking the same people who locked them down. Show appreciation for their freedoms. It is as if so many Americans suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. These governors are not heroes they are traitors. These governors should all be banned from running for any public office ever again in this country. Our standard must be governed, purely, by the Constitution, in the uncompromising way of our great Founders.

“Even Governor Ron DeSantis, the so called Republican Party front runner for 2024 election nomination, should be shunned. He too enforced lockdowns and restrictions for many months. He and the rest can no longer be entrusted with our freedoms. Out of 50 U.S. governors, only one lived, breathed and governed in a manner that honored the Constitution, and that is Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota. She, when pressured by all others, never buckled. She stood strong, and allowed the citizens of her state to choose how to best protect themselves. She trusted the people. And now only she can be trusted to lead this country. In my view she is even far stronger than Donald Trump ever was. So Kristi Noem sets the standard for all of those who seek political office from this day forward. Anyone offering anything less should not qualify.”

NG: “It seems that the only action the California governor thinks he has is lockdowns and masks. Please elaborate.

Tony: “I believe these are the ones he enjoys most, because they make him feel king like. Masks and lockdowns in my opinion are one and the same. This is why I have taken such a strong stand against masks, banning them from the restaurant. In my view they represent the lockdowns, signaling to the governor that people who wear them are under his thumb. They represent control, fear and surrender. I always say that if people would have removed their masks on day one, the lockdowns would have disappeared. The lockdowns cannot exist without masks. So, when mini dictators like California’s governor attack our freedoms in this way, we have to punch back and hard, with our own actions of defiance. That is how you deal with bullies.”

The 21st Century American 'Constitutional Battleground' for Freedom 2
Maskless guests at Basilico’s Pasta e Vino restaurant-Photo credit Tony Roman

What is more to convey?

While the interview came to an end, there is so much more to elaborate on and share about the remarkable stand Tony Roman and his staff have taken, with support from patriots everywhere. It all can be summed up in one word – FREEDOM.

Whether it is the defiant stand Tony has taken against the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control), rejecting his opportunity for a hearing, and instead calling them out publicly, challenging them to do the right thing and stand down, back off from their intimidating actions, and instead stand with him on the side of American freedom; or, the fact that so far the stand for freedom Tony has taken at his business from day one of the lockdowns has turned out to be the only one in the country; it looks like until to the very end. Doing it openly, boldly and fully, without compromise, challenging and continuously flaunting his defiance against all of the unconstitutional lockdown mandates. Even being extra provocative when rebelling against mandates, such as banning masks, and extending his restaurant’s operating hours when curfews were imposed.

Tony’s unwavering and unapologetic patriotic position has resulted in many people, even political groups often asking him to consider running for the Governor’s seat in California, should Newsom be recalled, which is now in process. The year of unconstitutional draconian measures and lack of leadership has made people realize that they will not elect compromised candidates, what seems to be all of the current proverbial candidates entering the race are.

But Tony Roman has this to say in response: “I am so flattered by the suggestion. But running for governor is not something I am considering. I would have to be pushed into it, and even if I do consider, I would have to first be guaranteed that I could govern from Orange County, remaining near the people and places I love.”

No matter what, inside ‘Basilico’s Pasta e Vino’ it feels like what Tony calls ‘Vintage America,’ representing true patriotism even the country’s Founding Fathers would be proud of, and now should be the pride of all Americans.

I, for one, am getting patriotic strength from this lone ‘Constitutional Battleground.’

Nurit Greenger
During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the "Accidental Reporter" felt compelled to become an activist. Being an 'out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a "one-woman Hasbarah army" for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

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