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OLCC Suspends Licence of Business for Noncompliance of Social Distancing Mandates
The business may continue to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages

On September 30, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued an Order of Immediate License Suspension to the licensee of “Top of the Bowl” in Douglas County for violating public health social distancing and face covering requirements. During an investigation that spanned two-months, OLCC enforcement staff observed non-compliance activity at Top of the Bowl that resulted in three charges against the business’ operator. The business, which holds a Full On-Premises sales licenses is NOT allowed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages during the suspension.

The first violation is for not complying with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) statewide mask, face shield, and face covering guidance. The second violation is for violating OHA’s Phase Two Reopening guidance for Restaurants and Bars requiring a six-foot distance between individuals in the bar – employees and patrons. The third violation is for serving food and drink, including alcoholic beverages, after 10 PM, which is outside the hours allowed under OHA’s Phase Two guidance.

OLCC’s investigation began on July 11, 2020, when an OLCC Inspector conducted an inspection of Top of the Bowl. The inspector found the licensee not wearing a face mask while bartending. The inspector provided Verbal Instruction (VI) to the licensee about social distancing, mask requirements and the 10:00 pm closure of licensed premises.

Twice in August, 2020, including one time in company with a Douglas County Sheriff deputy, OLCC enforcement observed the bar operating after 10 PM; staff and patrons were not wearing face coverings or maintaining proper social distancing, and patrons were still consuming alcoholic beverages.

In response to these incidents, OLCC compliance staff met with both the licensee and the bar manager on September 2, 2020 to discuss ways to get the licensee into compliance. OLCC cautioned the licensee that further violations could result in an immediate license suspension.

On September 19, 2020, OLCC compliance staff returned to Top of the Bowl to see if the licensee had implemented corrective actions. Upon entering the premises, inspectors instead observed that staff and patrons were again failing to adhere to the social distancing and facemask requirements.

In response, on September 30, 2020, the OLCC issued the operator of Top of the Bowl an order of immediate suspension for failing to follow OHA’s face covering and reopening guidance for restaurants and bars.

The licensee of record is Top of the Bowl LLC, and Jaimie Hennricks.

The OLCC investigation is continuing and the licensee faces the possibility of additional charges for liquor rule violations. The licensee is entitled to, and has requested, an administrative hearing to challenge the OLCC’s actions. The business may continue to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages on premises or for takeout or delivery, but is NOT allowed to sell any alcoholic beverages.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-10-08 13:27:06Last Update: 2020-10-08 13:45:30

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