A pair of Schuylkill County businesses were recently busted serving booze to customers without a meal and violating other COVID-19 mitigation regulations.
According to information released today by the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement in Allentown, the two businesses cited were Mazloom’s, of New Philadelphia, and Mulligans, of Shenandoah.
Restaurants and bars have been picked on considerably more than other small businesses by Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
They’ve been forced to operate at substantially reduced capacity – or closed entirely – since the start of the pandemic. Pennsylvania officials say, through their mostly unsuccessful contact tracing efforts, that more people who’ve become infected with COVID-19 report visiting a bar or restaurant prior to contracting the virus. However, the state also says that it’s unable to reach a majority of the people it tries to contact trace.
But, in particular, restaurants and bars, have to follow more rules than any other type of business as it relates to mitigating COVID-19’s spread. One of the emergency orders issued over the summer included a rule requiring that any alcohol sale be accompanied by the purchase of a meal. And when businesses adapted to that, somewhat sarcastically, by offering customers simple items like buttered bread or popcorn, the state came down on them a little harder.
Pennsylvania LCE Busts 2 Schuylkill County Businesses Serving Booze Without a Meal
The COVID-19 infractions at Mazloom’s were noted back on Oct. 22. It was on that day an LCE agent observed several violations per the emergency mandates and orders handed down by Governor Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Rachel Levine.
LCE says a patron was served alcohol for “on-premises consumption in a transaction that did not include a meal” on that day.
Mazloom Inc. was also cited for failing to require customers to wear face masks “while entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling throughout the establishment” and the company “did not provide face masks for employees to wear at work”. Employees were also not required to wear face masks the entire time they were at work and the LCE cited the company for that infraction, too.
In Shenandoah, the LCE says Pocono Enterprise Co., which does business as Mulligans, S. Main St., was cited for activity inside the establishment on Oct. 24. Like Mazloom’s, the establishment was cited for selling alcohol to a customer who intended to drink the beverage there without selling him food.
The company was also cited for a number of other COVID-related violations:
- Served a customer seated at the bar
- Customers not required to wear face masks
- Failed to provide face masks to employees
- Did not require customers to consume alcohol while seated at a table or booth
- Served drinks after 11 p.m.
- Exceeded the 25% occupancy limit
- Failed to provide proper social distance or barriers between parties at tables
In a matter unrelated to the pandemic, LCE also cited Old Buckhorn Cafe LLC, of Saint Clair, for not having “responsible alcohol management certification” from Sept. 22 until Nov. 2.
Businesses cited for COVID-19 mandate and other LCE violations must appear before an Administrative Law Judge. That judge can fine a company anywhere between $50-1,000 for minor offenses. More serious offenses carry fines up to $5,000. The businesses’ licenses can also be suspended or revoked as a result of these violations.
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