Ohio Investigative Unit cites Akron bar for violating COVID-19 health orders, permit holder charged with obstruction

Ohio Investigative Unit cites Akron bar for violating COVID-19 health orders, permit holder charged with obstruction
Ohio Investigative Unit cites Akron bar for violating COVID-19 health orders, permit holder charged with obstruction (Source: WOIO)

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit cited multiple bars overnight for violating COVID-19 health orders, including Karma Kafé.

Karma Kafé in Akron received a citation for after-hours consumption -- Rule 80 and hindering, the press release said. Agents visited the location at 1 a.m. and found the establishment to be open and allowing patrons to consume alcoholic beverages. The permit holder fled the premises after recognizing the agents.

The press release said bar staff refused to allow agents to enter. The permit holder was eventually located and was criminally charged with obstruction. Karma Kafé was cited on September 12 for the same violations. They are scheduled to appear in front of the Liquor Control Commission in November.

Other bars that were cited overnight:

Western Hills Sportsplex, known as Western Hills Live, Cincinnati, received a citation for after-hours sale – Rule 80 and after-hours consumption – Rule 80. On October 21, officers with the Cincinnati Police Department were able to purchase beer after 10 p.m. and witnessed staff continue to sell and allow consumption of alcohol after 11 p.m. The case was referred to OIU for enforcement.

Downtown Billiards Corp., known as The DB Downtown Billiards, Wauseon, received a citation for after-hours sale – Rule 80 and improper conduct – disorderly activity. Agents observed numerous groups of people gathered throughout the bar, standing and consuming alcoholic beverages, making it difficult for agents to walk through the bar. Employees and patrons were not following social distancing guidelines or wearing masks. Agents observed the permit holder selling alcoholic beverages and allowing consumption after 10:20 p.m.

Wild Side Brewing Company LLC., known as Wild Side Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, received a citation for after-hours consumption – Rule 80. Agents observed a patron consuming beer after midnight. They also saw a cold glass of beer on the bar.

“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 in a released statement. “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.”

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

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