Columbus bars file lawsuit against Gov. DeWine, Ohio Liquor Control Commission

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A lawsuit was filed Tuesday by a group of restaurants that previously sued the City of Columbus over a 10 p.m. closing order.

The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order against enforcement of Ohio’s 10 p.m. ‘last call’ rule by Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and the Ohio Liquor Control Commission.

A hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.’

The following bars and restaurants have signed onto the lawsuit:

  • Pins Mechanical Co.
  • 16 Bit Bar + Arcade
  • Late Night Slice
  • Odfellows
  • Threes Above High
  • Pastimes Pub & Grill
  • Quarry Co. Bar and Grill
  • Zeno’s
  • Oldfield’s
  • Leo’s on the Alley

It was filed by attorney Ed Hastie, the same attorney who successfully secured a temporary restraining order preventing a 10 p.m. bar closing ordinance from taking effect in Columbus.

After the ordinance was blocked, DeWine asked the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to enact a 10 p.m. ‘last call’ rule statewide.

That rule went into effect Friday.

The lawsuit seeks to block the state from enforcing the 10 p.m. last call rule and any other materially identical order. Hastie argues the state has not provided any reliable scientific data or evidence to establish why existing safety guidelines are effective at 9:59 p.m. but not after 10 p.m.

Bar owners said their bottom line was greatly affected over the weekend.

“To the bar and restaurant owners out there that are disturbed and troubled by this, we do plan on putting up a fight,” said Hastie. “We’ve all got to do what we can to curb the spread of COVID-19. It’s unbelievable to believe that a law that shuts down one small segment of society at 10 p.m. is going to have any difference.”

Dan Tierney, a spokesperson for DeWine, said the governor did not have a response to the lawsuit, beyond his announcement last week. Tierney wrote, “We will respond in court.”

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