EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Three bars have been closed by the health department and a fourth has a warning.
“I wasn’t necessarily surprised because I know Franklin Street does get a little busy on the weekends,” said one person who did not want to be identified.
Health officials say Chasers, Bud’s, and Xcess Nightclub were closed and Franklin Street Tavern received a cease and desist order. They say they’ll be re-inspected soon.
We spoke with the management at Bud’s Rockin’ Country Bar and Grill.
A letter from the health department to Bud’s says the closure is due to violations of face covering, social distancing, and other sanitation rules. Bud’s was warned twice in October and given a cease and desist order December 21 for not adhering to state-mandated mask orders.
“I just hope the best for them, and I hope people will start to respect the business and the owners will try to do the best they can as well,” stated one person.
Those orders require Bud’s staff to enforce patrons to follow mask and social distancing rules.
“I think businesses can only enforce so much. They can put the signs out, and they can talk to the customers or the people inside eating,” explained one person. “They can encourage as much as they would like, but it’s up to the people to comply as well. Everyone has to do their part in these hard times.”
Bud’s says they feel like they are being discriminated against.
“You go in there, people are walking around not wearing masks, why isn’t it the same law for every business? Seems like, you know, the big box stores are just getting away with it,” said operations manager Chad Brady.
Vanderburgh County Health Department Administrator Joe Gries says they do not try to single out any particular kind of business.
“We go out to doctor’s offices, we go out to gymnasiums, we go out to retail establishments, and this is something that we follow up on,” explained Gries.
In order to reopen, each business will have to submit a mitigation plan to the health department for approval. Gries says this process usually takes at least 48 hours.