Ohio Investigative Unit cites four area bars for serving alcohol past 10 p.m., other COVID-19 violations

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Four Northeast Ohio bars have been cited for violating state-mandated coronavirus containment orders, Ohio State Highway Patrol reported.

After receiving complaints, and with the help of local police departments, agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) went to four area establishments with liquor permits last night and said they saw first-hand blatant disregard for COVID-19 health orders.

Here’s what was issued:

  • Highland Tavern, Akron: Around midnight last night, OIU agents said they observed patrons not wearing masks or social distancing at the bar. Bartenders were continuing to serve drinks. The bar was cited for serving alcohol past the 10 p.m. last call and for improper conduct/disorderly activity.
  • Town House Bar, Marietta: Arriving on the premises around 1:35 a.m., OIU agents were not only reportedly able to purchase alcohol at the bar, they also saw bar-goers drinking all around the establishment. The bar was cited for serving alcohol past the 10 p.m. last call and for insanitary conditions.
  • PVO Inc., aka Positive Vibes Social Club, East Cleveland: Agents said they observed “lack of social distancing efforts, physical barriers and patrons congregated at the bar,” in a statement. The club was issued a citation for improper conduct/disorderly activity.
  • Tennie Inc., aka Sportmans Lounge, East Cleveland: The lounge reportedly set up a tent outside where patrons were seen drinking past midnight, OIU agents reported. People could purchase alcohol inside the establishment, which lounge management said was “to go,” but that OIU agents observed as not being packaged correctly for that to be the case. The bar was cited for serving alcohol past the 10 p.m. last call and for improper conduct/disorderly activity.

All of these cases will be reviewed by the Ohio Liquor Control Commission, and include potential fines and liquor permit suspensions.

“The majority of establishments we visit are doing everything they can to provide a safe environment for their patrons,” OIU Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf said in a statement. “It is no surprise to see so many following the precautions put in place to make their establishments safe and compliant with the directives. Agents will continue to conduct compliance checks and take enforcement action when egregious violations are observed.”

A number of restaurants have been issued citations since the new 10 p.m. order went into effect on Friday, July 31.

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