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OLCC suspends liquor license of Springfield saloon for allowing indoor dining

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued an Order of Immediate License Suspension this week to the licensee of Twisted River Saloon in Springfield for violating public health social distancing requirements, by allowing indoor on-premises consumption of food and drink.

The business, which holds a Full On-Premises sales license is not allowed to sell or serve any alcoholic beverages, the agency said Wednesday. The order was issued Tuesday.

Last December, the licensee of the bar and restaurant contacted the OLCC to inform the agency that the Twisted River Saloon would be reopening; at the time, Lane County was in the “Extreme Risk” category, during which indoor dining is not allowed.

OLCC said its staff encouraged the licensee to instead follow the guidelines provided by the Oregon Health Authority under the Governor’s Executive Order. OHA’s framework assigns health and safety measures for four levels: Extreme Risk, High Risk, Moderate Risk and Lower Risk.

In January, the OLCC received a complaint that Twisted River Saloon had re-opened and the indoor portion of the business was filled to capacity. OLCC compliance staff visited the business on Jan. 7 and confirmed that indoor dining was taking place.

When the OLCC followed up with the licensee after the in-person inspection, the owner indicated that Twisted River Saloon would continue to operate, offering both indoor and outdoor dining, the agency said.

Social media posts reflect that Twisted River Saloon remains open for indoor dining and is offering live entertainment. Lane County continues to be in the “Extreme Risk” category, which limits bars, restaurants, breweries and wineries to takeout service and scaled-back outdoor dining.

The licensees of record are James Butt, Managing Member, and Shawn Werner, Member of Route JGB Enterprises, LLC.

The licensee was cited for violating both the Governor's Executive Order 20-66 and Oregon Health Authority – Living With Covid-19 (Extreme Risk) guidance when it allowed patrons to consume food and beverages on the licensed premises.

The OLCC said the investigation is continuing and the licensee faces the possibility of additional charges for liquor rule violations. The licensee is entitled to exercise their administrative hearing rights to challenge the OLCC’s actions.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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