SALEM — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has suspended the liquor license of a southern Oregon bar because the venue failed to require patrons to “keep their distance.”
It’s the first bar in the state to have its liquor license suspended under the new temporary rules the OLCC adopted on July 31, which require alcohol licensees to abide by the governor’s directives regarding facial coverings and social distancing requirements.
An OLCC press release said the operator of the Jammin Salmon bar in Jackson County was cited for two violations, related to social distancing and face covering requirements.
On Saturday, Aug. 1, the OLCC Medford regional office responded to a request for assistance from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Rogue River Police Department because of a large event taking place at the Jammin Salmon. The bar has a Grants Pass address but is located in Jackson County, about three miles west of Rogue River.
An OLCC inspector reported that the Jammin Salmon was packed with patrons, many spilling out of the bar and carrying away alcohol beverages as they left. According to the inspector, the bar’s inside service areas and outside patios were crowded with several hundred people, with only about 10 percent of them wearing any face coverings. The OLCC investigation is continuing, and the licensee faces the possibility of additional charges.
In April, two Oregon businesses — Los Arcos Mexican Grill in Salem and The Sportsman Tavern in Cave Junction — had their liquor licenses suspended for violating the governor’s executive order which, at that time, prohibited on-premises consumption of food or drink. Since then, that restriction has been lifted, except in Umatilla County.
While the suspension is in place, the bar can continue to serve food, but not alcoholic beverages.