COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)- The Ohio Department of Public Safety released information on Friday, November 20 about agents citing three liquor permit premises. According to the release, the Ohio Investigative Unit’s fully-sworn, plainclothes peace officers are responsible for enforcing the state’s tobacco, alcohol, and food stamp fraud laws. The following businesses cited have descriptions of the conduct observed by the officers.
These cases will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for potential penalties, including fines and/or the suspension or revocation of liquor permits.
R&T Estate LLC., known as Gray Area Bistro, Cleveland, received a citation for improper conduct – disorderly activity and hindering or obstructing inspection. At approximately 8:40 p.m., agents, Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Division of Fire and the Cleveland Department of Public Health observed a large number of patrons inside the premises. Approximately 130 patrons were crammed into the establishment, shoulder to shoulder throughout. Patrons were closely congregated, standing and moving freely throughout while consuming alcoholic beverages. No social distancing measures were in place or being enforced by staff. Due to the amount of people, it was difficult for public safety personnel to move without having direct physical contact.
Lounge 2.28 Bar & Grille LLC., known as Lounge 2.28, Bedford, received a citation for improper conduct – disorderly activity and hindering inspection. At approximately 9:15 p.m., agents and officers with the Bedford Police Department observed approximately 50 patrons closely congregated, standing and walking freely about the establishment while consuming alcoholic beverages. Numerous patrons and bar staff were not wearing masks and no safety measures were in use.
Top Dog Saloon, Fairborn, received a citation for after hours sale – Rule 80. After receiving a complaint, agents ordered two bottles of beer at 10:20 p.m. The bartender opened and served the agents two beers. Two other patrons who were inside the bar, left the permit premises following agents identifying themselves.
The Ohio Investigative Unit is made up of fully-sworn, plainclothes peace officers responsible for enforcing Ohio’s alcohol, tobacco, and food stamp fraud laws. Agents conduct compliance checks to ensure the liquor permit premises are compliant with the Ohio Liquor Control Act. Agents also act on complaints of illegal activity on liquor permit premises. In addition to providing the safety checks associated with the COVID-19 directives, OIU agents continue to perform their normal compliance checks to ensure the liquor permit premises are complying with the Ohio Liquor Control Act.