Mitchell’s responds after health department shuts bar down over executive order violation

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — After collecting months of complaints, Mitchell’s Sports Bar and Grill has been shut down by the Allen County Health Department.

Picture taken the night of Gov. Holcomb’s new restrictions.

According to a red sign on the entrance of the bar, the Allen County Health Department closed the establishment Wednesday for violating the governor’s executive order. The sign does not indicate how long the bar will be closed or the exact reason the bar was closed.

The executive order issues “county-based measures and restrictions” designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order includes the state’s mask mandate, and requires businesses like restaurants and bars to have employees wear masks and maintain social distancing. Patrons also must be seated, according to the order.

A viewer shared a picture with WANE 15, showing the crowded business and said it was taken the night new restrictions went into effect.

WANE 15 has received several complaints that have been filed with the Allen County Department of Health. The complaints dating back to the summer months forced follow-up visits from health inspectors.

The complaints match similar comments made to WANE 15 over the course of several months including concerns of employees not wearing masks, capacity limits being ignored and tables not being spaced apart.

According to the documents, a ‘cease and desist’ order and at least one verbal warning have been issued by the Department of Health.

A sign indicates Mitchell’s Sports Bar has been closed by the Allen County Health Department.

Thursday afternoon, an attorney for Mitchell’s issued a statement that said Mitchell’s was open for a “private Christmas party with the majority of the restaurant closed to the general public” when a health inspector and a state excise officer came in to discuss “anonymous” allegations around 5:30 p.m. At that time, the decision was made to close the bar.

The statement said owner Todd Smith and representatives were working “in good faith” on a resolution. The statement said urged residents not to “pass judgement” on Mitchell’s.

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