Columbus bar receives 2 warning letters after complaints of COVID-19 guideline violations

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Public Health says it has issued two warning letters to a popular Short North bar over the last two days.

According to the health department, eight warning letters were issued to businesses with outdoor patios Saturday, of the 120 compliance checks made. The only place to receive more than one letter is the Short North’s Standard Hall.

A health department spokesperson said the Columbus Division of Police and the health department have written a report for the City Attorney, who will determine the next steps for enforcement.

The warning letters come after the bar received numerous complaints of violating COVID-19 measures for outside service, according to Columbus Public Health.

Other establishments that received warning letters for non-compliance from Columbus Public Health Saturday are:

  • Ugly Tuna
  • Pig Iron BBQ
  • Kitchen Social
  • Pub Out Back
  • Double Barrel
  • Woodlands Backyard

Standard Hall owner Chris Corso said Columbus Public Health had an issue with the bar’s line Saturday night. Corso kept the bar closed Sunday out of concern of getting another warning and is asking the health department for guidance on what to do with a line outside the bar on the sidewalk.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced last week restaurants and bars would be allowed to reopen for outside service on Friday, May 15 and inside service on May 21.

Standard Hall released the following statement regarding the situation:

Standard Hall has exactly 45 tables on the patio, spaced 6ft apart. Based on the guidelines set forth by the state, we are not allowing parties of more than 10 at each table. All of our staff is undergoing wellness checks prior to and during their shift, washing their hands frequently, and using protective face coverings. Eight sanitation stations were set up around the venue for customer use. Guests have been encouraged to adhere to social distancing guidelines and to wear their own protective face coverings.

We understand the concern of the community and we are taking active measures to ensure the health and safety of our guests and staff.

Corso later added Standard Hall is working with the health department to operate responsibly, but he does have questions.

“We’re willing to work with the health department,” he said. “It’s been two days, guys. Give us a chance to pivot here a little bit. We’re asking questions, they don’t even know the answers… We’re not mad at them, but we’re working with you. Work with us.” 

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein issued the following statement:

“I have been impressed with the local restaurants and businesses that have thoughtfully implemented protocols to ensure the safety of their employees and patrons. When possible violations of the state’s orders arise, the City Attorney’s Office has taken an education-first, citation-second approach. This gives residents and businesses the opportunity to first learn about the orders while providing law enforcement and health officials the ability to issue a warning and then citation if they see that the rules have been repeatedly broken.

“The City Attorney’s Office is still receiving information about the events that occurred at Standard Hall this weekend. Once we have all the facts, we will review and proceed with action, if it is warranted.”

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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