Investigators blow up more restaurants illegally serving alcohol during on-site dining ban
Three other Michigan restaurants have had their liquor licenses suspended for violating state health orders – including two accused of serving customers indoors and one allegedly ignoring outdoor dining restrictions.
The Michigan Liquor Control Commission announced emergency suspensions for restaurants in Mount Pleasant, Plymouth and Bately on Tuesday, Jan.19.
All three are to attend a virtual hearing with an administrative law judge, who will decide whether to issue a fine and possibly extend the liquor license suspensions. So far, the suspensions have lasted from seven to 90 days.
Michigan’s dinner ban began on November 18 and was extended to January 31. Restaurants are not permitted to serve food or alcohol for consumption inside the establishment, cannot accommodate gatherings, and must require masks.
Citizens can file a complaint with the MLCC for any restaurant serving alcohol in violation of health ordinances. Call 866-893-2121 or go to the MLCC website to file a complaint.
So far, 37 companies have had their alcohol licenses suspended since September for violating COVID-19 health orders.
Here is a look at the latest companies that have been hit with a liquor license suspension. Click on the company name to read the full report.
Location: Mount Pleasant
An anonymous complaint prompted an MLCC investigator to check on the company just after 3 p.m. on January 8.
The investigator saw several vehicles in the parking lot, but no one in the outdoor service area – the only eating and drinking area currently permitted in Michigan restaurants. Inside, around 12 people were seated at the bar and tables, according to the investigator.
No one was wearing a mask and some appeared to drink alcohol, according to the investigator.
An unmasked company representative told the investigator he disagreed with the state health order and decided to no longer follow it.
An investigator visited the Plymouth restaurant for an inspection on January 8 and found a full parking lot.
Although the company only opened its outdoor service area, multiple violations were noted, including having tables within six feet of each other, allowing people to stand without mask without distancing itself and allowing tables to seat more than six people, according to the investigator.
Prior to the MLCC visit, investigators from the Plymouth and Wayne County Police Department had visited the company and repeatedly warned its executives that they were breaking COVID-19 health orders.
The MLCC received a complaint in December that Bately Tavern was violating health ordinances, so an investigator visited the company around 4 p.m. on January 6.
Several vehicles were in the parking lot and no one left the building within the 10 minutes the investigator observed. The investigator therefore entered, sat down at the bar and ordered food and an alcoholic drink. There were 16 more inside eating and drinking – none of whom wore masks or were far away.
The only employee who worked was also not wearing a mask, according to the investigator.