Coronavirus: NE Ohio bar cited twice this weekend for state health order violations

COLUMBUS — A bar in northeast Ohio was cited twice this weekend for violations of the state’s health orders for bars and restaurants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Pavilion Restaurant, located in Geneva On-The-Lake, Ohio, was among the seven bars or restaurants cited over the weekend for violations of the state health’s order in place in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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None of the other six bars cited were in the Miami Valley.

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Investigators from the Ohio Investigative Unit, the agency investigation potential violations, first visited the Pavilion Restaurant Friday, and observed nearly 100 people on a dance floor, not observing social distancing.

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“Agents visited the establishment and observed approximately 75 - 100 patrons who were congregated on the dance floor and in other areas of the premises with no social distancing or physical barriers in place," the OIU agents reported in their log.

Agents returned Saturday to find a similar scenario as the previous night.

“For the second night in a row, agents visited the establishment and observed areas of the premises tightly packed with patrons making it difficult to move throughout the bar without directly contacting others. Patrons at the bar were shoulder-to-shoulder attempting to order drinks,” OIU agents said.

Owners of the Pavilion Restaurant received a citation both nights for improper conduct, disorderly activity, investigators said.

“When egregious violations are observed, enforcement action is taken,” OIU Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf said in a media release. “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.”

OIU agents have been investigating bars and restaurants across the state since the Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed a measure that was also signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in late July, banning the sale of alcohol at establishments after 10 p.m.

The “last call” order allows restaurants to sell alcohol until 10 p.m. and patrons have until 11 p.m. to finish all drinks purchased at or before 10 p.m.

The order is in effect for 120 days from July 31, or until the liquor control commission rescinds the order.

Several area bars and restaurants have been cited since the order was put into effect.

Other establishments cited over the weekend, according to state troopers and the OIU:

  • Factory 42 in Columbiana: OIU agents reported they were able to purchase alcoholic beverages after 10:30 p.m. Friday
  • Karma Cafe in Akron was cited for selling alcohol after the cutoff and hindering the OIU investigation after agents observed multiple patrons still consuming drinks after 12:25 a.m. Saturday. A worker reportedly locked the front door and delayed agents entry into the bar.
  • High Tide Tavern in Geneva On-the-Lake received citations Friday night for having 50-60 patrons tightly packed into a large group in the bar area. No social distancing or physical barriers were in place. Alcohol sales continue at the bar as late at 10:55 p.m.
  • JLK Carry Out Bar and Grill in Beallsville was cited after OIU agents were able to buy alcohol just before 11 p.m. Saturday and patrons were consuming beverages up to 11:30 p.m.
  • Bogside Pub in Willowick was cited for selling alcohol after the cutoff after OIU agents received multiple complains about the bar for violations and observed liquor sales after 10:15 p.m. Saturday.
  • Cleveland’s Local Eatery in Cleveland was cited for after-hours consumption after OIU agents received complaints that patrons were consuming alcohol while the doors were locked and windows covered to conceal their activity. “Agents arrived at the premises at approximately midnight and found the windows covered, doors locked and approximately 12 to 15 patrons inside consuming alcoholic beverages," OIU agents said.