Three Cleveland bars, clubs cited after violating state orders regarding coronavirus

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Officials cited three Cleveland bars and nightclubs after receiving complaints that these establishments had violated state health department orders regarding the coronavirus.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU), along with Cleveland police and city health officials, visited the bars Friday night.

Dante’s Inferno and Backyard Bocce, located in the Flats, was cited for improper conduct/disorderly activity.

Officers reportedly saw customers standing and congregating in the establishment without social distancing. Additionally, customers were engaged in several restricted activities including arcade games and bocce ball.

Forward, a dance club in the Flats, was also cited for improper conduct/disorderly activity.

Officials say patrons were standing, congregated, and dancing on a dance floor, the bar and on tables. There were no social distancing measures were in place.

Club Paradis, a gentleman’s club located on Frankfort Avenue in the Warehouse District, received a citation for improper conduct/disorderly activity too.

Officers found over 150 people in a very confined space within the establishment. No social distancing measures of any type were in place. Patrons, dancers and other staff were reportedly having repeated, direct contact. 

The cases will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for potential penalties, including fines and/or the suspension or revocation of liquor permits. 

Although many other bars and restaurants were found in compliance with health orders, local authorities did issue a number of warnings throughout the evening.

OIU agents say they will be conducing compliance checks again Saturday night and into Sunday morning. 

“The goal of these compliance checks is to safeguard all patrons by ensuring that liquor-permitted establishments maintain compliancy, so they can continue to serve their customers and everyone can enjoy a safe and healthy experience,” OIU Agent-in-Charge Michelle Thourot said in a press release. “Educating liquor-permit holders about the order has been the priority of the Ohio Investigative Unit, however when egregious violations are observed, enforcement action is taken. We’re asking patrons to help out their favorite bars and restaurants by following the precautions put in place to make these establishments safe and compliant with the directives.” 

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