Cleveland city officials issued warnings against four restaurants and bars over the weekend for not complying with the state’s coronavirus safety guidelines.
The City of Cleveland said it responded to 28 calls regarding “mass gatherings” at both businesses and private residences. Police officers stopped by the businesses with the most complaints: Mulberry’s in the West Bank of the Flats, Harry Buffalo on East 4th Street, Lago East Bank and TownHall in Ohio City.
Warning letters were issued and the city closed Mulberry’s sand volleyball pit.
Public health officials also visited the bars to talk to the owners and staff about how to better comply with social distancing and other coronavirus-related guidelines, including wearing masks.
The city is taking the safety guidelines set out by the state very seriously, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said in a late Monday statement.
“We will continue to monitor this situation,” Jackson said, “and will be developing a policy to address the actions of habitual offenders.”
Pictures also surfaced on social media of packed bars around Ohio – including in the Flats in Cleveland – with people drinking, not wearing masks and not staying at least six feet apart.
Gov. Mike DeWine at his Monday press conference issued a warning to bars, restaurants and any other reopened establishment not adhering to the safety guidelines
“What we saw in some bars this weekend, pictures that made national news,” DeWine said. “We saw in some places customers were not following the rules and people running the bar were not taking responsibility. Both have to do that.”
The governor has empowered law enforcement and health officials to join the state Health Department’s Investigative Unit to conduct compliance checks at crowded bars and restaurants. Those who don’t enforce social distancing could lose their liquor license, DeWine warned.