AKRON, Ohio — The Ohio Liquor Control Commission cited a total of six COVID-19 violations on three separate days at Highland Tavern in Akron. The violations include sale and consumption of alcohol after 11:00 p.m. and disorderly activities.
“The vast majority of business owners and managers are doing the right thing. They’re doing everything they can to comply with the Department of Health orders as well as all of the emergency rules from the Ohio Liquor Control Commission,” said Enforcement Commander Eric Wolf of the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU). They investigate every complaint they get about a restaurant or bar’s compliance with state laws.
“Citations that the OIU issues are truly some of the outliers. These are the businesses that just allow a complete disregard for social distancing and other aspects of the health department orders and so our agents will issue violations notices for those egregious violations,” said Wolf.
Those violations then go to the Ohio Liquor Control Commision and they make the decision on the outcome on a case-by-case basis.
“I can’t really speak to their decision making process, but yes, it takes quite a bit for a liquor permit holder to actually have their license revoked,” said Wolf.
Highland Tavern could not be reached for comment Monday. Walid Loutfi, owner of Barmacy Bar and Grill next door, said he understands these are tough times, but when it comes to the law, bar and restaurant owners should comply.
"As a business owner, I would never break the law or go against the law, and do things the right way because sometimes the consequences are really, really big.”
The Liquor Control Commission states Highland Tavern’s liquor permit is revoked effective Oct. 2.