Zminj Entrepreneur Opens “Drive in” Coffee Tent – Concept Not Permitted

Lauren Simmonds

December the 3rd, 2020 – The current restrictions have placed a strain on all those out there missing sitting down in a cafe and spending three hours or so nursing a couple of cups of coffee. While there are certainly bigger concerns at play than caffeine fixes, one Zminj entrepreneur decided to take matters into his own hands…

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Zminj entrepreneur Antonio Debeljuh opened the very first “drive in” coffee bar in Istria. He created the concept out of his own cafe as an result of the recently introduced measures of the National Civil Protection Headquarters that ordered the closure of all coffee bars and the like. However, as soon as he opened it, he had to close down it due to the latest measures. Despite the fact that its “drive in” facility is practically the same as a similar service at McDonalds – it is a cafe, not a restaurant, so it must be closed, local portal Glas Istre writes.

It’s worth mentioning that the Zminj entrepreneur’s drive in idea was well received and people came in their cars to buy coffee. Debeljuh was satisfied because jobs were saved and work continued, and he adjusted all the conditions to this new method of work. He set up a tent, adjusted the tent’s window and worked according to all of the anti-epidemic rules.

“If we were to dispense the coffee at the door of the facility across the table as some of our other colleagues do, who are still allowed to work because they aren’t registered as coffee bars, there’s a greater possibility of infection because the entrance becomes crowded. We do it our ”drive in” way and on the first day of lockdown (Saturday, op. Cit.) went really well. On the second day, we received a call from the state inspectorate that we should close because we’re not entered into the category of people serving food and drink,” Antonio Debeljuh stated.

”I’m constantly thinking about the difference between issuing food and drink and us, and I still don’t understand it whatsoever. We made an effort, we endured sleepless nights in order to bring the project to life, froze during the installation of the tent, and in the morning at 06:30 we still happily welcomed our first guests with masks, in thick jackets, under the heater. It doesn’t matter anymore anyway, because we’ve been stopped,” says the desperate Antonio Debeljuh.

Zeljko Plavcic, the mayor of Zminj, was also approached and asked to say what he thinks about everything:

“This is the precedent of all precedents. It isn’t right, nor equal to everyone, nor does everyone have the same treatment. You can get ”to go” coffee in any restaurant, and yet this idea isn’t permitted. I’m disappointed,” said Plavcic, who will try to contact the headquarters to see if a possible exception can be made for this Zminj entrepreneur’s idea.

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