Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
LANSING, MICH. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) has issued emergency suspensions of the liquor licenses and permits for two businesses in Battle Creek, Detroit and Flint. The licensees’ multiple violations of the current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Emergency Order on Gatherings and Face Masks include: allowing non-residential, in-person gatherings; providing in-person dining; and failure to require face coverings for staff and patrons. Since September 2020, the MLCC has suspended liquor licenses of a total of 34 establishments located throughout the state for violations of the Executive and Emergency Orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On January 6, 2021, an MLCC Commissioner ordered the emergency suspension of the liquor license and permits held by Gibson Johnson Management, LLC d/b/a Minnie’s Rhythm Café located at 546 E. Larned in Detroit. Specifically, the Commission issued an emergency suspension of its Class C liquor license and permits for Sunday Sales (A.M. and P.M.), Additional Bar, Dance, Entertainment, and Extended Hours. The licensee is scheduled to appear before an Administrative Law Judge on January 13, 2021, for a virtual hearing via Zoom to determine whether this summary suspension should continue, or other fines and penalties should be imposed.
On January 11, 2021, an MLCC Commissioner ordered the emergency suspension of the liquor licenses and permit for C & H Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Down the Tracks located at 2310 W. Court St. in Flint. Specifically, the Commission issued an emergency suspension order of its Class C, and Specially Designated Merchant licenses and its permit for Sunday Sales (P.M.).
On January 12, 2021, an MLCC Commissioner ordered the emergency suspension of the liquor licenses and permit for Downey’s Lakeview Lounge, Inc. d/b/a Lakeview Lounge located at 640-642 Capital Ave. SW in Battle Creek. Specifically, the Commission issued an emergency suspension order of its Class C, and Specially Designated Merchant licenses and its permit for Sunday Sales (P.M.).
Down the Tracks and Lakeview Lounge are scheduled to appear before an Administrative Law Judge on January 15, 2021, for a virtual hearing via Zoom to determine whether this summary suspension should continue, or other fines and penalties should be imposed.
Licensees are strictly prohibited from allowing indoor gatherings, as defined by the MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order, on their licensed premises. Further, these prohibited gatherings held without requiring patrons to wear face masks pose an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Allowing this activity to continue could create additional outbreaks of COVID-19.
Any licensed establishment that is in violation of the MDHHS emergency order will be held strictly accountable and risk suspension or revocation of its license. All licensees must not only comply with the MDHHS Orders, but also local health department orders, and local ordinances regarding reduced occupancy rates and social distancing protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MLCC Enforcement Division, is working diligently to ensure that licensees are compliant with the MDHHS orders. It investigates all complaints relative to allegations of violations of the Code, Rules and Emergency Orders, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The public can report any suspected non-compliance issue at an establishment directly to the MLCC by filing a complaint with the MLCC Enforcement Division online or by calling the division’s hotline, toll-free, at 866-893-2121. MLCC’s website provides information on the MDHHS Emergency Order, indoor service restrictions, face mask requirements and Frequently Asked Questions for restaurants and bars.
To date, there have been more than 525,612 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, resulting in 13,501 deaths. Although vaccination for COVID-19 is underway across the state, the pandemic is not yet at an end, and more challenging months lay ahead.
It is the mission of the MLCC to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through the regulation of those involved in the importation, sale, consumption, distribution, and delivery of these alcohol products.