CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Investigative Unit agents cited for Northeast Ohio bars and restaurants overnight after getting complaints of blatant health order violations put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Here is the list of cited establishments and their reported violations according to the OIU:
Captiv8 Potato Bar in Cleveland was administratively cited for improper conduct with disorderly activity and limitation on hours for on-premises consumption.
Cleveland Police assisted OUI after receiving a call at midnight on Saturday claiming the bar was still selling alcohol.
When agents and officers arrived, the main door was locked and they saw a large number of people in the bar.
Agents and officers then saw security officers moving large numbers of people out of the building through the back door.
Once the agents and officers were able to get in through the back door, they saw numerous patrons still inside and evidence of drinking on site.
Secrets in Cleveland was administratively cited for improper conduct for disorderly activity and limitation on hours for on-premises consumption.
Agents met with Cleveland Police around 2 a.m. on Saturday after officers just responded to a disturbance at the gentleman’s club.
The club was heavily occupied and still selling alcohol.
About 30-35 patrons were seen leaving the club as agents and officers were planning their entrance.
When agents went inside, they saw most of the patrons had left.
However, about 15-20 people were seen still inside drinking as staff were “aggressively cleaning glasses and bottles.”
Agents spoke with the on-duty manager who admitted the club was selling alcohol until the usual 1:45 a.m. last call.
A Touch of Italy in Shaker Heights was administratively cited for improper conduct for disorderly activity and limitation on hours for on-premises consumption.
Shaker Heights Police called OUI agents about the restaurant selling alcohol past 10 p.m.
SHPD went to the restaurant after 11 p.m. and issued a warning to the on-duty manager, but believed he would not comply.
Agents that arrived around 12:45 a.m. saw about 50 people packed into a confined area in and around the bar standing and dancing while drinking.
Agents also saw numerous bartenders continuing to pour drinks right in front of the agents.
Despite some social distancing measures in place, “egregious” social distancing violations were seen.
Floods Restaurant in Warrensville Heights was administratively cited twice for improper conduct for disorderly activity and limitation on hours for on-premises consumption.
Warrensville Heights Police and agents went to the restaurant to issue a violation from July 24 when officers saw it was filled with more than double the permitted capacity with “egregious” social distancing violations.
But when they returned on Friday night, agents and officers saw more “egregious” social distancing violations with about 75 people congregated while standing or sitting in close groups at the bar and moving around the restaurant while drinking.
Agents and officers also saw more patrons dancing while drinking to the music that was playing.
The OIU said these cases will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission or potential penalties, which may include fines and/or the suspending or revoking their liquor permits.
According to the OIU, a number of warnings for other restaurants and bars were issued throughout the night.
“We continue to work with our law enforcement partners and local health departments following up on complaints to ensure liquor-permitted establishments maintain compliance, so everyone can enjoy a healthy experience,” said OIU Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf. “When egregious violations are observed, enforcement action is taken. We all need to continue to work together by following the precautions put in place to make these establishments safe and compliant with the directives.”
The OIU describes itself as a unit “made up of fully-sworn, plainclothes peace officers responsible for enforcing Ohio’s alcohol, tobacco, and food stamp fraud laws. Agents conduct compliance checks to ensure the liquor permit premises are compliant with the Ohio Liquor Control Act. Agents also act on complaints of illegal activity on liquor permit premises. In addition to providing the safety checks associated with the COVID-19 directives, OIU agents continue to perform their normal compliance checks to ensure the liquor permit premises are complying with the Ohio Liquor Control Act.”