Lawyer for Mitchell's sports bar addresses closure by Allen County Department of Health

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.

Posted: Dec 3, 2020 5:42 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2020 3:08 PM

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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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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
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Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
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White275143
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Jefferson266238
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Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
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