AKRON, Ohio — An Akron hookah bar was cited for the second time after violating COVID-19 health orders, according to the Ohio Investigative Unit.
Agents visited Karma Kafe on Exchange Street around 1 a.m. and found the bar to be open and allowing customers to consume alcoholic beverages, well past the state’s curfew.
OIU agents said that when the liquor permit holder recognized the agents, they fled the premises and bar staff then refused to allow agents to enter.
The permit holder was eventually located and was criminally charged with obstruction, according to OIU.
Karma Kafe was cited for after hours consumption – Rule 80 and hindering.
The bar was previously cited in September for a similar incident.
On Sept. 12, OIU said they investigated Karma Kafe after receiving complaints of “blatant violations of orders in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus.”
Around 12:25 a.m., agents witnessed people inside the bar 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.
While delaying the agents, “actions were taken inside to remove the alcoholic beverages,” OIU said.
During that incident, the bar was issued an administrative citation for limitation on hours of on-premises consumption and hindering or obstructing an inspection.
Karma Kafe is scheduled to appear in front of the Liquor Control Commission in November. The bar faces potential penalties, including fines and/or the suspension or revocation of its liquor permit.