Cleveland restaurants owners speak out after they were cited for not following the governor’s guidelines

Restaurants owners speak out after they were cited for not following the governor’s guidlines

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Several Cleveland restaurants are being warned after the city said they violated the Ohio Department of Public Health’s regulations for reopening businesses.

On Friday night, restaurants and bars could reopened with outdoor seating. Several Cleveland bars were caught on camera with large crowds, who were not practicing social distancing.

The city said they received numerous complaints about the number of people on the outdoor patio at Lago East Bank and warned the restaurant that employees and customers needed to follow the social distancing requirements at all times. The director of operations at Lago admitted the situation got out of hand Friday and Saturday but said Sunday went much better.

“It’s just one of those things that were committed to move forward and correct any issues and keep everybody as safe as possible,” said Brendan Kearney, Director of Operations at Lago East Bank.

Lago interview

19 News asked him what he will be doing to make sure the crowd doesn’t get out of control again.

“I personally am gonna be sitting at the door counting people, making sure that everybody is in a seat following the governor’s mandate.”

19 News also went by Townhall in Ohio City. The city cited them for not wearing face coverings and not following the six-foot rule. We tried to talk with Townhall, but they refused to answer our questions.

Mulberry’s in Ohio City also received a complaint because people were seen playing volleyball and recreation businesses are not open. Owner John Teel feels like that is hypocritical since parks are open and have been crowded and he does not have any organized teams playing. He says he has been following all the social distancing requirements. He said he will tell his customers not to use the volleyball court anymore.

The Harry Buffalo’s downtown location also received a complaint from the city saying they were serving patrons at the bar and customers were seated at the bar and drinks were served in glasses. Owner Tony George said he did nothing wrong.

“The Harry Buffalo downtown has rolling glass doors on the north side and the east side and the south side,” explained George. “When all those doors are open the whole restaurant becomes a patio.”

19 News went to George’s location in North Olmsted. George said it has the same set up as the downtown spot.

Tony George interview

“You can’t say one place is complying and one place is not complying,” George said. “In my opinion they don’t even know what they’re doing we know what we’re doing. The health department doesn’t know what they’re doing.”

George said he was also cited at his North Olmsted location for having people sitting outside at the bar but he says he spoke with police and told them it was outdoor seating and according to the report when they came back out and looked they agreed with George and told him he was in compliance.

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