Akron Hookah bar cited for disobeying health order sought to stop COVID-19 from spreading

2 establishments in Geneva-On-The-Lake also cited
Posted at 12:21 PM, Sep 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-13 08:41:01-04

AKRON, Ohio — A Hookah bar in Akron has been cited for violating health orders state officials aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Ohio Investigative Unit, Karma Café in Akron was issued an administrative citation for limitation on hours of on-premises consumption and hindering or obstructing an inspection.

OIU said they investigated after receiving complaints of “blatant violations of orders in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus.”

According to authorities, at around 12:25 a.m. OIU agents witnessed people inside the establishment drinking alcohol past the health order curfew. When they went to walk inside, an employee locked the front door to delay the agents from going inside.

During the delay, “actions were taken inside to remove the alcoholic beverages,” the OIU stated.

Agents also cited two establishments in Geneva-On-The-Lake.

Pavilion Restaurant was issued a citation for improper conduct-disorderly activity after agents witnessed between 75 to 100 patrons congregating on a dance floor and not social distancing. Additionally, there weren't any barriers up to keep patrons to keep guests spread out, the OIU stated.

High Tide Tavern was also targeted by agents after the OIU received complaints. The bar was cited for improper conduct-disorderly activity and limitation on hours for sales and on-premises consumption.

The OIU said agents observed between 50-60 people inside the establishment "tightly packed in a large group in the bar area."

"Every seat and bar stool was occupied, patrons were leaning over other patrons to order drinks at the bar and standing shoulder to shoulder throughout the establishment with no social distancing or physical barriers in place," the OIU stated.

Agents also said that they witnessed staff serving alcohol past the alcoholic beverage health order curfew, according to the OIU.

“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.”

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