Agents cite Wauseon bar for COVID violations

By David J. Coehrs -

A downtown Wauseon bar has been cited for violating state health orders related to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Eric Wolf, enforcement commander of the Ohio Investigative Unit, agents entered DB Downtown Billiards, 123 N. Fulton St., on Friday and observed so many people gathered and drinking alcoholic beverages that the agents had difficulty walking through the establishment. They also noticed the bar’s permit holder selling alcoholic beverages and allowing them to be consumed after the state’s 10 p.m. cut-off point. Neither employees or patrons were wearing masks or attempting to social distance.

The bar was given a citation for violating Rule 80 – no after-hours sales – and one for disorderly conduct. Wolf said the case will likely be heard by the Ohio Liquor Control Commission in November, which could lead to fines and/or the liquor permit of DB Downtown Billiards being either suspended or revoked. Wolf said the history of the bar’s liquor permit will factor into the commission’s decision.

The bar owners, Mario and Maria Estrada of Wauseon, could not be reached for comment Monday morning. The OIU has no authority to close a bar after citations are issued, and DB Downtown Billiards reportedly remains open.

Other bars cited for state health order violations last week related to the coronavirus included the Wildside Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Karma Cafe in Akron, and Western Hills Live in Cincinnati.

Since mid-March, when restrictions for bars and restaurants were placed, OIU agents have visited 20,606 drinking establishments and issued 241 violations, some of those multiple violations for a single establishment.

“Overall, most bars are doing everything they can to comply to provide that safe environment for patrons to return and to stay open,” Wolf said. May | Fulton County Expositor

By David J. Coehrs

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.