- The Queen City Lounge in Cincinnati, Ohio, was still operating days after a statewide order to shut down bars and restaurants, police said.
- The state Health Department had told restaurants and bars to close their doors in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Police said that despite a warning, the Queen City Lounge was still operating on Tuesday, so officers evacuated the space and boarded it up.
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Cincinnati Police officers boarded up a local bar on Tuesday after it violated the statewide order to close all restaurants in an attempt to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Queen City Lounge was "operating as a bar," Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate told FOX 19, had a full buffet, and was serving food to customers.
The Ohio Department of Health had ordered bars and restaurants across the state to limit all food, liquor, beer, and wine sales to carry out and delivery in hopes of preventing the spread of COVID-19, which has infected thousands of people nationwide.
The order went into effect at 9 p.m. on Sunday night, but Queen City Lounge kept its doors open and resumed business, WLWT reported.
"They put a sign up in the window that said 'members only' to try to get around the law," Police Capt. Paul Broxterman told WLWT.
Cincinnati Police told FOX 19 that officers performed a compliance check on Queen City Lounge on Sunday and gave the owners a warning about the need to shut down.
When officers returned on Tuesday, they found the bar was still fully operating, and there were about 40 people inside.
—Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD) March 17, 2020
Once the establishment was emptied, officers boarded it up, and now they're looking into revoking the bar's liquor permit and food service license.
"Not only are you putting the general public at risk, you're putting our officers at risk that had to go in and deal with the individuals that were in violation," Neudigate told FOX 19. "So, as a result, we are going to set the example today."
Neudigate said the owner was cooperative during the incident and said most establishments would be given two warnings before shutting them down in the future.
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