Mitchell’s Sports Bar reopens 2 days after health department shutdown

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Mitchell’s Sports Bar reopened Friday, just two days after the Allen County Health Department closed the bar and restaurant for failing to comply with the state’s coronavirus response executive order.

Mitchell’s said through an attorney on Friday that after “fully” cooperating with health officials and “extensive conversations, meetings, negotiations,” the bar would reopen for service Friday night.

Mitchell’s has agreed to “closely follow and adhere to Governor Holcomb’s COVID-19 Executive Orders, along with the Allen County Public Health Order issued by the Allen County Department of Health on November 17, 2020,” the bar said in the statement.

A spokesperson for the health department confirmed that all of the complaints lodged against Mitchell’s have been closed.

Mitchell’s was shut down Wednesday evening after a health inspector and a state excise officer came in to discuss “anonymous” allegations. Mitchell’s said those complaints were “fully and properly investigated.”

“Outside of a handful of violations of the ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions, absolutely none of the numerous remaining ‘anonymous’ complaints have required any additional follow-up from the Allen County Department of Health, beyond the initial inspection,” the statement said. “Therefore, we believe that these numerous ‘anonymous’ complaints were in fact falsely made, either to purposefully disparage and/or harass and embarrass Mitchell’s, their Owner, and members of their staff.”

With the reopening, Mitchell’s asked customers to wear masks and social distance themselves. The bar said it was able to meet capacity limits because it has 15,000 square feet of space and seating for 435 customers.

Mitchell’s hosted a concert Friday night.

“We look forward to reopening today not only to serve and entertain our loyal customers, but also to provide employment and income for our staff and their families during heading into the Christmas season,” owner Todd Smith said in the statement.

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