COLUMBUS -- Agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) cited six establishments Thursday after receiving complaints of blatant violations of orders in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Agents visited the following liquor-permitted establishments and issued citations after witnessing the violations:
Aramark Sports & Entertainment Services LLC., known as First Energy Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, received an administrative citation for after hours sale - Rule 80. Agents received a citizen complaint alleging the stadium liquor permit holder was not operating in compliance with the restricted hours of sale, serving alcohol after 10 p.m., during the Sept. 17 football game with the Cincinnati Bengals. Based on evidence and substantial cooperation from the liquor permit holder and the Cleveland Browns organization, it was determined that alcohol sales continued beyond 10 p.m.
Chalet LLC., known as Chalet, Cincinnati, received an administrative citation for improper conduct – disorderly activity. The citation is a result of a police case from the Cincinnati Police Department. On September 20, officers entered the establishment and witnessed no social distancing measures taking place. Officers filed their report and forwarded the information to OIU for an administrative citation. On Thursday, agents issued the establishment the citation based on the police case, as well as citations for insanitary conditions (service or storage room not clean or sanitary), insanitary conditions (fixtures, equipment, tables, counters, coolers/refrigerators, or utensils not clean or sanitary), and insanitary conditions (alcoholic beverages not maintained in potable condition).
AMK Group LLC, known as Bonkers, Garfield Heights, received an administrative citations for after hours sale - Rule 80. After receiving a complaint from the community, agents conducted an investigation and discovered approximately a dozen patrons. Agents witnessed the bartender serving two shots of intoxicating liquor to patrons after 10:30 p.m.
Tom & Jakes Glass Bar Inc., known as Glass Bar, Norwalk, received an administrative citation for after hours sale - Rule 80. After receiving a complaint from the community, agents conducted an investigation and observed a patron being served a beer and a shot of intoxicating liquor at approximately 10:40 p.m. The patron paid for the drink prior to 10 p.m., but it was not served until after. The permit holder claimed they were not aware they were also not able to serve the drink after 10 p.m.
EJ Tavern Inc., known as Dreamers, Cleveland, received an administrative citation for improper conduct – disorderly activity, after hours sale – Rule 80 and after hours consumption – Rule 80. Agents and the Cleveland Division of Police both received information that the establishment was operating with a large number of patrons and continuing to serve alcohol after 11 p.m. Agents and officers found approximately 75 patrons closely congregated inside the permit establishment at 11:35 p.m. No social distancing measures or physical barriers were in use, and patrons moved freely about the premises consuming alcoholic beverages, while other patrons were observed receiving close-contact private dances from female adult entertainers. Agents and officers also witnessed bartenders prepare and serve drinks for after hours consumption.
Scar Holdings LLC., known as Lust Gentlemen’s Club, Toledo, received an administrative citation for after hours sale – Rule 80, after hours consumption – Rule 80 and improper conduct – disorderly activities. At approximately 11:45 p.m., agents observed the bartender serving and selling alcoholic beverages and patrons consuming alcoholic beverages. Agents purchased an alcoholic beverage at 11:49 p.m. Female dancers were observed on the stage performing for customers, in close contact with patrons.
These cases will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for potential penalties, including fines and/or the suspension or revocation of liquor permits.
“When egregious violations are observed, enforcement action is taken,” said OIU Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf. “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.”
The Ohio Investigative Unit is 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.