FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The owner of a popular sports bar in Fort Wayne has responded, through his legal counsel, after his business was ordered to shut down for violating state and local health guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mitchell’s Sports and Neighborhood Grill was ordered on Wednesday night by the Allen County Department of Health to shut down its operations after receiving more than a dozen complaints that the business was not following COVID-19 guidelines that are outlined by Governor Eric Holcomb's Executive Order 20-48.
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The General Counsel for Mitchell’s Sports and Neighborhood Grill says they're "working with local officials" after @AllenCountyHD ordered them to shut down for violating state & local COVID-19 executive orders. @FOX55FortWayne Full Letter ⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/cCL9yalZm9— Jake Thomas (@JakeTTweets) December 3, 2020
According to a report form ACDH, a complaint filed on Nov. 27 regarding Mitchell's that the "Establishment is staying open
past midnight" and the department did an inspection on Wednesday, Dec. 2 to follow up on this, along with 13 other complaints.
ACDH says the complaints stated that:
- The establishment is over the 50% capacity limit.
- There were at least 250 people in the establishment.
- The establishment was open long after midnight, they stay open to 1 a.m. on the weekdays and 3 a.m. on the weekends.
- There was no social distancing happening at all.
- Customers, employees and the owner were not wearing masks.
- The owner stated they were not making anyone wear masks.
- They are allowing bar top seating and allowing customers to stand while drinking.
- The bathrooms had no soap, and my food was undercooked with a hair in it.
- The employees in the kitchen are also smoking in there.
The report says on Wednesday an inspector for ACDH and a representative from the Indiana State Excise Police went to Mitchell's where they saw a kitchen employee not wearing a required face mask, seating at the bar was full, patrons were standing and
consuming alcohol, there was no social distancing taking place and a small buffet table by the dance floor.
The health inspector ordered the business to shut down operations and posted red signs on the door to let the public know that Mitchells was required to close "due to ongoing willful violation of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-48, the Allen County
Health Department, in accordance with that executive order."
According to the report, the red closure signs were placed on "the front entrance to the establishment, the side bar door to the
establishment and on the Deadeye Dicks doors due to them being under the same permit."
Only representatives of the health department are allowed to remove the signs from businesses once placed and as of 1 p.m. Thursday no red sign was found on the front door or side bar doors, as seen above.
In a statement to FOX 55, Randy Fisher, General Counsel for Mitchell’s Sports and Neighborhood Grill, says when the excise officer and inspector came to inspect the establishment at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday there was a private Christmas party taking place and the business was not open to the general public.
Bar owner Todd Smith says in a statement that they are working with local officials in order to reopen.
“We are currently cooperating with local officials in order to reopen and provide excellent food, hospitably, and entertainment for our faithful customers,” Smith states. “We have over fifty employees and their families have been hit extremely hard this year with the previous mandatory shutdowns. We will do everything we can to stay open for our families.”
You can view the latest complaint from ACDH regarding their incident on Wednesday below.