Bars ‘blindsided’ by Cranley callout for overcrowding, mask violations

Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 8:30 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - During Mayor John Cranley’s press conference on Friday he called out six bars in the city with the most complaints made to the Health Department for mask violations and overcrowding:

Cranley assured the public during the press conference that the city mask mandate is helping to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“If you see what’s happening around the country, it’s still getting worse. Our numbers are coming down. You saw the chart a week or so ago. We had 100 cases in one day. Today we’re looking at 20 something,” said Cranley.

He then called out the following six restaurants:

  • The Pirate’s Cove
  • Mt. Lookout Tavern
  • Animations
  • Oak Tavern
  • Andy’s Café

The bars are the source of an outsized number of complaints to the Health Department, Cranley said.

He added bars and nightclubs are the top sources of large gatherings of people who are COVID-19 positive.

FOX19 NOW spoke with an employee at Andy’s Cafe who was shocked the business was listed.

“I’m surprised because our customers, before [Cranley] required us to wear a mask, they were wearing masks, so I’m surprised and I wear a mask,” said Greta Jackson.

Jackson showed how all patrons entering the bar are required to sanitize their hands and get their temperature checked. She says she is also constantly wiping down and cleaning the bar top throughout the day.

“I think we’re doing all we can. I’m disappointed that we are getting all of these complaints.”

Jackson and the owner of Andy’s Cafe tell FOX19 NOW they don’t believe the complaints are coming from customers but from others who don’t want their business in the area.

“We’ve gotten complaints since we’ve been open, frankly. I mean, the culture of the bar is different, and I believe that has a lot to do with it honestly.”

FOX19 NOW contacted all of the restaurants and bars on the list. Mt. Lookout Tavern says they were blindsided and have been following all state and city guidelines.

Pirates Cove Tropical Bar and Grill says they too are following the board of health guidelines.

Animations says they are following the mask mandate and claim they do not have the most complaints.

PRVLGD had no comment.

The general manager of Oak Tavern, Lauren Shipp released this statement:

“We have prided ourselves since day one on doing things by the book. We have consistently enforced our rules and have updated them when new orders have been announced. Our goal at The Oak Tavern is to not only have a safe environment for our staff but for our patrons as well. Our establishment has never been cited for breaking social distancing guidelines. The safety of our staff and guests is our utmost priority. We will continue to diligently follow the regulations of local and state officials as well as the guidelines of the CDC.”

The Oak Tavern would like to respond to @mayorcranley ‘s comments regarding our social distancing policies and mask...

Posted by The Oak Tavern on Friday, July 31, 2020

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