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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Cleveland bar and restaurant owners reacted to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s crackdown on social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.

Several in Northeast Ohio were cited by local health departments, but owners said they were doing what they could to follow the rules.

More on DeWine’s plans for bar and restaurant compliance here

“We’re trying to do the right thing for our staff, for the customers and the general public… The governor gave us permission to open. We’re not gonna violate his confidence or the state’s confidence by abusing the system. It’s not worth it,” said Northeast Ohio businessman Tony George.

George owns several restaurants, including the Harry Buffalo on East 4th Street downtown.

On Saturday, the Cleveland Department of Public Health cited the restaurant. The letter accused employees of servicing customers at the bar, some out of glasses, and claimed most were seated near windows, when only outdoor dining is allowed until Thursday.

“You open those rolling glass doors. It becomes an outdoor venue. It actually becomes a patio. We designed it that way,” George said.

The Cleveland Department of Public Health sent out complaint notices to the owners of four bars and restaurants in the city, accusing them of violating the governor’s order.

“We’re not an enforcement agency. It’s hard to control when you have people even in large groups of 10, eight. They’re going to get up, they’re going to grab their drink, they’re going to want to walk inside,” said Fabio Salerno, owner of Lago East Bank.

Lago was cited over the weekend for not adhering to Ohio’s social distancing guidelines, which include customers being seated while eating or drinking.

Mulberry’s was cited for allowing patrons to use a sand volleyball court.

TownHall on West 25th Street was cited for people not wearing face coverings or keeping a 6-foot distance.

“By definition, hospitality is saying ‘yes’ every chance you can. And this is gonna be a moment where we might not always be able to say ‘yes,'” said restaurant owner Sam McNulty.

McNulty, owner and co-founder of Market Garden Brewery and three other restaurants on West 25th Street, said he has decided not to open yet. He said the strict regulations make it tough to just break even financially and create a bigger challenge enforcing rules.

“It’s also gonna mean in this day and age, ‘Hey, you guys are gonna have to sit down to enjoy that drink,’ or, ‘You’re gonna have to sit down for that meal,'” McNulty said.

Click here for mandatory guidelines and best practices for Ohio bars and restaurants

Cleveland police responded to 28 calls regarding mass gatherings at both residences and businesses over the weekend.

City officials said police and health inspectors visited the four establishments with the most complaints.