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Michigan Suspends More Restaurant and Bar Liquor Licenses for Violating COVID-19 Orders

Three more bars and restaurants received suspensions for defying indoor gathering and mask orders

Editorial image of some alcohol bottles in a row, displayed in a pub or restaurant. Alexandru Nika/Shutterstock
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Michigan Liquor Control Commission announced another round of license and permit suspensions for restaurant and bars across the state for violating Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) epidemic orders.

All together, three establishments — Mine Shaft & Rock House in Houghton, Chapz Roadhouse in Lakeview, and the Silver Beach Hotel in St. Joseph — were issued suspensions by the agency between Friday, November 25 and Tuesday, December 1. They join six other restaurants and bars in Michigan that have already received suspensions and fines this fall for defying epidemic orders that put a three-week pause on indoor service beginning on Wednesday, November 18.

Mine Shaft and Chapz are scheduled to appear on Thursday, December 4, in virtual hearings before an administrative law judge. Silver Beach Hotel’s licensee is scheduled for a similar hearing on Friday, December 11, according to a release.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has pledge to assist in enforcing the COVID-19 health orders. “Any licensed establishment that is in violation of the MDHHS emergency order will be held strictly accountable and risk suspension or revocation of its license,” LARA director Orlene Hawks says in a statement. The public may also file complaints with the MLCC Enforcement Division online or by calling the MLCC Enforcement hotline, toll-free, at 866-893-2121.

While the vast majority of business owners are making every effort to comply with the order, a handful of Michigan restaurants and bars has chosen to willfully flout restrictions and reopen dining rooms. Last week, restaurateur Joe Vicari circulated a letter to fellow business owners suggesting that they band together to fight any extension of the current indoor dining order. Individuals in the medical community have called this “reckless,” and, in a legal win for the state today, a federal judge upheld MDHHS’s dining room restrictions.

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