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Businesses cited, liquor licenses suspended for not following public health order

Most establishments across the state are doing their part by following the order

From the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services

Both last week and this week the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued citations and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) suspended liquor licenses to establishments that are in violation of the recent public health order issued on Sunday, Nov. 15. The order was put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health by establishing restrictions on gatherings, including prohibiting gatherings of patrons in food service establishments. 

The MLCC issued emergency suspensions of the liquor licenses and permits held by Michigan businesses in Fremont, Newaygo and Fenton last week. Licensees’ multiple violations of the current MDHHS Emergency Order include: allowing non-residential, in-person gatherings; providing in-person dining; failure to require face coverings for staff and patrons; failure to prohibit patrons from congregating.

“Our office is working closely with the Commission as it exercises its duties and we are prepared to prosecute these summary suspensions,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Although none of us wants to take such actions, the deliberate and blatant defiance of the state emergency public health orders by these owners put their businesses at risk. While we are heartbroken at the toll these closures invariably have on the businesses affected, first and foremost the state has an obligation to protect the lives of our residents.” 

MLCC Commissioners ordered emergency suspensions of the liquor licenses and permits held by: 

• Cory’s Restaurant, Inc. d/b/a Jimmy’s Roadhouse located at 8574 S. Mason Dr., Newaygo. The Commission ordered an emergency suspension of its licenses and permits: Class C and SDM liquor licenses with a Specific Purpose Permit (Food), Outdoor Service Area Permit, Sunday Sales (P.M.) Permit, and Dance Permit on Nov. 24, 2020.

• M.B. and D., LLC d/b/a Brew Works of Fremont, located at 5885 S. Warner Ave., Fremont. The Commission ordered an emergency suspension of the Class C/Specially Designated Merchant (SDM) and Brew Pub licenses, and permits for an additional bar, Dance-Entertainment, Catering, Sunday Sales (P.M.), Outdoor Service, Specific Purpose (Food), Specific Purpose (Golf), and Specific Purpose (Bowling) on Nov. 24, 2020. 

• The Meeting Place LLC, located at 3600 Owen Rd, Fenton. The Commission ordered an emergency suspension of the Class C and Specially Designated Merchant licenses and permits for Sunday Sales (A.M. and P.M.) and Outdoor Service on Nov. 25, 2020.

A virtual hearing before an Administrative Law Judge is scheduled on Dec. 4, 2020, for each of the above-named licensees via Zoom to determine whether this summary suspension should continue, or other fines and penalties should be imposed. 

In addition, citations were issued by MDHHS to the following establishments, with penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation or day that a violation continues:

• Big Boy of Sandusky, 422 West Sanilac, Sandusky ($5,000)

• Café Rosetta,102 Fifth Street, Calumet ($1,000)

• Woodchips Barbecue, 315 West Nepessing Street, Lapeer ($1,000)

• The Meeting Place, 3600 Owen Road, Fenton ($1,000)

This week, MLCC Commissioners ordered released info about emergency suspensions of the liquor licenses and permits held by:

1) Chapz Roadhouse, LLC, d/b/a Chapz Roadhouse located at 9950 N. Greenville Rd., Lakeview. The Commission issued an emergency suspension order of its Class C, and Specially Designated Merchant (SDM) liquor licenses, and Sunday Sales (P.M.) Permit on November 25, 2020.

2) KMPD, Inc. d/b/a Rock House/Mine Shaft located at 915 Razorback, Houghton. The Commission issued an emergency suspension order of the Class C and SDM liquor licenses with a Specific Purpose Permits (Food and Bowling), Outdoor Service Area Permit, Sunday Sales (P.M.) Permit, Extended Hours Permit, Additional Bar and Dance-Entertainment Permits, on November 25, 2020.

The above-named licensees are scheduled to appear before an Administrative Law Judge on December 4, 2020, for a virtual hearing via Zoom, to determine whether this summary suspension should continue, or other fines and penalties should be imposed.

3) ASJJ Hotel Properties, Inc. d/b/a Silver Beach Hotel located at 100 Main St. St. Joseph. The Commission issued an emergency suspension order of the B Hotel License with a Specific Purpose Permit (Food), Sunday Sales (P.M. Permit), and Dance/Entertainment Permits on December 1, 2020.

The above-named licensee is scheduled to appear before an Administrative Law Judge on December 11, 2020, for a virtual hearing via Zoom, to determine whether this summary suspension should continue, or other fines and penalties should be imposed.

“The Commission’s Enforcement team is working diligently to ensure that licensees are compliant with the MDHHS most recent Gatherings and Face Mask Order which took effect on November 18, 2020, and remains in effect until December 8, 2020said,” LARA Director Orlene Hawks. “Any licensed establishment that is in violation of the MDHHS emergency order will be held strictly accountable and risk suspension or revocation of its license.”

Since September 2020, the MLCC has also suspended liquor licenses of establishments located Muskegon Heights, Conklin, and Grand Rapids for violations of the emergency and executive orders due to the pandemic.

Information was received by MDHHS from local health departments and local law enforcement regarding non-compliance with the order. The civil fines are due within 30 days of receipt of the citations. Additional establishments are slated to be cited. 

“The vast majority of restaurant and bar owners are doing the right thing and they have temporarily closed their indoor service to help prevent the spread of the virus,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We know this is not easy for anyone, this is not an action we take lightly, but the sooner we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 the sooner we can all get back to doing the things we enjoy.” 

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