Fish Bowl in Portsmouth, Ohio
Agents Cite Five Liquor Permit Premises for Violating Health Orders
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.
Fish Bowl in Portsmouth, Ohio, received a citation for improper conduct – disorderly activity and unsanitary conditions.
Agents entered the business and observed approximately 30 patrons, many without masks
Crowding at the main bar with little social distancing
Agents also saw little social distancing between patrons standing and drinking alcoholic beverages while intermixing with other social groups.
The bar staff were not properly wearing masks and did not attempt to encourage patrons to wear masks or maintain six feet of distance between groups. Agents recognized the permit premises was using physical barriers at the main bar and explained to the staff corrective measures to become compliant.
The case will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for potential penalties, including fines and/or the suspension or revocation of liquor permits.
“We continue to work with our law enforcement partners and local health departments following up on complaints to ensure liquor-permitted establishments maintain compliance, so everyone can enjoy a healthy experience,” said OIU Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf. “When egregious violations are observed, enforcement action is taken. 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.”
Others cited by the O.I.U. this weekend: Uptown Lounge in Akron, Bridge Bar & Grill in Willard, The Pub in Gahanna, and Spotlight Bar in Toledo