INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two Indianapolis bars have lost their liquor licenses and been closed for violating COVID-19 orders, the Marion County Public Health Department said Tuesday.
The bars are After 6, downtown at 247 S. Meridian St., and Casba Bar, in Broad Ripple at 6319 Guilford Ave.
The health department said it has issued multiple license suspensions since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency.
After 6 served food using an illegal, nonlicensed caterer and violated emergency public health orders, the health department said in a news release issued Tuesday. Specific violations included not allowing for adequate social distancing, not having seated service, not enforcing the mask mandate in an indoor space, and operating past the hours permitted under public health order.
“It is difficult going over and asking them to stay at their tables, then a lot of time they try to pull tables together, so it is a difficult task for us inside the business to police the folks,” said Ryan Greb, owner of Taps and Dolls and the landlord for the building that houses After 6.
To reopen, After 6 will need to submit a risk mitigation plan that details how its operators plan to comply with public health orders.
“Moving forward, I think that is part of the problem we are going to have is figuring out how to adjust with the guidelines that are coming toward us and making improvements as they go,” Greb said.
Casba Bar violated emergency public health orders and ignored its risk mitigation plan, the release said. Specific violations included not allowing for adequate social distancing, not having seated service, not enforcing the mask mandate in an indoor space, and operating past the health emergency’s curfew.
“These businesses they just want to survive. You know, they want to survive this pandemic. They are not able to function the way they normally do and if they can’t function the way they normally do, they are not bringing money in the way they need to,” said Brent Easton, a musician who performs at bars downtown.
To reopen, Casba Bar will need to submit a new risk mitigation plan that lists specific steps to protect patrons’ health.
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“For the last year, we have worked closely with our business partners to help them operate safely within the constraints of public health orders aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked hard to balance the importance of protecting the health of our residents with protecting our economy, and the decision to close these establishments was not made lightly. But after these significant and repeat violations, these license suspensions are necessary for the health of our community.”Dr. Virginia Caine, director and chief medical officer of the Health Department