2 Northeast Ohio bars cited for not enforcing mask mandate and social distancing on New Year’s Eve

2 Northeast Ohio bars cited for not enforcing mask mandate and social distancing on New Year’s Eve
(File) (Source: WVIR)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Investigative Unit agents cited bars in Cleveland and Willoughby for violating blatant health order violations on New Year’s Eve 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:

Velvet Dog in Cleveland was cited for improper conduct with disorderly activity.

At 9:50 p.m., OIU agents, Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire, and the Cleveland Department of Public Health saw numerous patrons not wearing masks, closely congregated throughout the establishment, and allowed to stand and walk freely with alcoholic beverages.

Velvet Dog also failed to meet several requirements for physical spaces.

The bar’s liquor permit was previously cited on Dec. 12 for improper conduct with disorderly activity.

1899 Pub in Willoughby was cited for improper conduct with disorderly activity.

At 9:30 p.m., agents walked in and immediately saw “egregious violations” with a large number of patrons tightly packed into a small place with no social distancing or physical barriers in place, most not wearing masks, allowed to stand and walk freely with alcoholic beverages.

Agents were unable to move through the bar without having direct contact.

On Thursday, 19 News reported on crowds at 1899 Pub after photos captured inside the bar were released to our team.

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.

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.”

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