Put-in-Bay Bars Cited
The Ohio Department Of Liquor control heard multiple cases from restaurants bars cited across Ohio in August for citations related to Covid-19. The Ohio Investigative Unit cited several island businesses for violating coronavirus health orders so far this season. According to a press release, the charges included violating social distancing orders and engaging in various forms of improper conduct in violation of the Ohio Department of Health orders.
The charges came in spite of the fact that there have been no reported cases traced back to Put-in-Bay since a couple in late June. Citations issued to liquor license holders go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission, where penalties can include fines, suspensions of liquor licenses, and revocation of liquor licenses.
List Of Put-in-Bay Bars Cited
Here is a list of those cited and the citation outcomes at this time:
Niese Bros.: The Commission found the permit holder for T&J’s Smokehouse in violation of improper conduct – disorderly activity. The Commission has not yet heard this case.
Park Hotel Gift Shop: Based on the evidence presented, the Commission found the permit holder in violation, but issued no penalty.
Adventure Bay: The Commission issued a 5-day suspension beginning at noon, September 18th, 2020, but gave the permit holder the option to pay a financial forfeiture in the amount of $750.00 in lieu of serving the suspension.
Put-in-Bay Resort: On June 27th, the resort was cited for “knowingly and/or willfully” allowing persons to engage in disorderly activities that violated the state’s Covid-19 health orders. The Ohio Liquor Control Commission ordered the suspension of its liquor permit for 20 days, from Sept. 4th until Sept. 24th.
Commodore Resorts: At Mist Bar, agents found numerous patrons standing and congregating with no social distancing measures in place around both the bar and swim-up bar, as well as in the pool. The outcome of this citation hearing is yet to come.
Colonial Inc.: The Beer Barrel Saloon was cited for violations of improper conduct – The release said Beer Barrel Saloon hosted live music Saturday night, August 22nd, and agents saw crowds not following social distancing guidelines. Employees did not attempt to enforce Covid- 19 guidelines.
Niese Holdings Limited: Splash Swim Up Pool and Tiki Bar were accused of two violations: hindering the inspection of Splash Swim Up Pool and Tiki Bar, and creating a condition that presents a risk of illness. The Liquor Commission found Niese Holdings innocent of hindering the inspection but guilty of unsafe conditions. The commission suspended the Niese Holdings liquor license for 20 days, beginning Sept. 18.
Bars Cited By Undercover Agents
From what we understand, agents of the Ohio Investigative Unit are plain-clothes officers. One mainland business in Cleveland was recently issued a 45-day suspension. No bar at Put-in-Bay has even come close to a violation of this magnitude. Several bar owners expressed frustrations that patrons refused to follow the guidelines and ruleset in place by management. Perhaps a tutorial video that visitors would hear on the ferry ride to Put-in-Bay a Beginners Guide To Stay Safe At Put-in-Bay would help drive the message home.
Clearly, something must be done to change the behavior of patrons and the bars cited work together to resolve the issues. The process of the citation, hearing, and subsequent penalties are time-consuming, frustrating, and in some cases, expensive. Some bar owners opted to hire attorneys when their cases were heard while others simply attended the hearings which were held virtually.
One of the Put-in-Bay Bars Cited stated the hearings were pretty one-sided with examiners not really understanding the issues operators faced with crowds who were non-compliant. Put-in-Bay Police seemed to take little or no interest in enforcing the mandates by Ohio’s Governor.
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