COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Investigative Unit has cited four more Northeast Ohio bars (two in Akron and two in Willowick) for "blatant" violations of state health orders meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The establishments were caught either ignoring social distancing measures or serving alcohol past the 10 p.m. limit Friday night. One tavern in Akron was actually reprimanded for the fourth time.
The violations are as follows:
- Highland Tavern, Akron: Agents witnessed roughly 75-80 customers congregating in groups without social distancing while alcohol was being served as late as 11:45 p.m. by employees not wearing face masks. Citations issued for disorderly activity and limitation on hours for sales and on-premises consumption, the fourth time the bar has been caught breaking the rules.
- Cedar Wings Lounge, Akron: Several patrons were still consuming alcohol as late as 11:15 p.m. Citation issued for limitation on hours for sales and on-premises consumption.
- Kate's Bar & Grill, Willowick: "Several" customers were still inside drinking as late as 11:20 p.m. Citation issued for limitation on hours for sales and on-premises consumption.
- Stage Pass, Willowick: Roughly 50-75 people were packed into the bar with no physical barriers present, and employees were still serving alcohol after 10 p.m. while not wearing face masks. Citations issued for disorderly activity and limitation on hours for sales and on-premises consumption.
The cases now go before the Ohio Liquor Commission, and all four establishments could have their liquor licenses suspended or revoked. OIU Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf issued the following statenment:
"We all need to continue to work together by following the precautions put in place to make these establishments safe and compliant. We continue to follow up on complaints to ensure liquor-permitted establishments maintain compliance and enforcement action is taken when egregious violations are observed so everyone can enjoy a healthy experience."
11 Ohio bars had their liquor licenses suspended last month for repeatedly ignoring health orders, including three in Put-in-Bay alone.