(The Center Square) – The small number of restaurants and bars that fail to follow Gov. Kim Reynolds’ COVID-19 emergency public health disaster proclamation has been held accountable, a spokesperson for the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) said.
“The vast majority of establishments that we visit appear to be in compliance with the Governor’s proclamations,” Jake Holmes of the Iowa ABD told The Center Square. “There are a small amount of establishments that are not complying, and they are being held accountable.”
He said it’s hard to say if compliance has increased, decreased or stayed the same, but most are complying.
“The violations have included failing to ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking alone,” Holmes said. “Failing to ensure booths were of sufficient height to fully separate seated customers, failing to limit patrons from congregating together closer than six feet, and/or failing to ensure that all patrons were seated while consuming their beverages.”
Violations don’t appear to be happening in any specific part of Iowa, he stated.
The Iowa ABD received approximately 650 COVID-19-related complaints, made more than 2,500 inspections and opened 59 cases, Holmes said, The Gazette reported on Nov. 29.
The Iowa ABD announced on Dec.1 that complaints were filed against Mason Dixon Saloon, 1st & Main and Main Street Social in Dubuque, and AJ’s Ultra Lounge in Ames. The complaints stem from investigations on Nov. 14, the division reported on its website.
The licensees face civil penalties for violations and have the right to a hearing. Settlements were reached with Mason Dixon Saloon and AJ’s Ultra Lounge. Both businesses agreed to a $1,000 civil penalty. Pints Pub n Patio in Des Moines also agreed to the $1,000 civil penalty.
A week earlier, Mary Lou’s Bar & Grill in Cedar Falls agreed to the civil penalty, their website reported.
A settlement agreement by Cooper Cup in Des Moines included a two-day liquor license suspension that started on Nov. 23.
Two other Des Moines businesses, Beer Can Alley/The Exchange and Shotgun Betty’s in West Des Moines, agreed to the $1,000 civil penalty three days earlier.