TOLEDO, Ohio — Ohio Investigative Unit agents visited one Wauseon, one Grand Rapids and two other Ohio bars Friday night and cited them for violating Ohio Department of Health's orders to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The DB Downtown Billiards, in Wauseon, was cited for after-hours sale and disorderly conduct. OIU agents said several groups of people gathered throughout the bar, standing and drinking alcohol, making it difficult for agents to walk through.
Employees and customers were not social distancing or wearing masks, according to the OIU.
The Wild Side Brewing Company in Grand Rapids was cited for after-hours consumption after agents saw one customer drinking beer after midnight and a cold glass of beer on the bar, according to the OIU.
We spoke with owner Nick Scott following the citation. He explains agents knocked on the door after the business had closed for the evening. He said the beverage to which agents referred in the citation was his as he was closing for the evening.
These cases will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for potential penalties, including fines and suspension of liquor permits. The businesses might also lose their permits.
Two other Ohio bars were cited for the following violations:
Karma Café, Akron, received a citation for after hours consumption – Rule 80 and hindering. Agents visited 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 agents. Bar staff refused to allow agents to enter. The permit holder was eventually located and was criminally charged with obstruction. Karma Café was cited on September 12 for the same violations. They are scheduled to appear in front of the Liquor Control Commission in November.
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.