The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has suspended liquor licenses from seven more restaurants and a bowling alley for allowing in-person gatherings and disregarding the mask mandate.
Among the eight is Andiamo Italia in Warren. Andiamo Owner Joe Vicari banded together a group of restaurant owners earlier this month in hopes of reopening together in defiance of Michigan’s prohibition on in-person dining due to COVID-19.
Vicari changed course on Dec. 3, telling the group of restaurant owners in a Zoom call not to reopen illegally because “you’re going to get shut down” and disobeying orders is “not the right solution.”
“I don’t want to disobey the government orders. I really don’t,” Vicari said in the meeting. “Because it’s a losing situation.”
But on Dec. 4, MLCC investigators caught a wedding reception in the act at an Andiamo establishment – prompting the liquor license suspension. There were 62 guests, per MLCC documents, and it was allegedly the second wedding reception hosted there that week.
“The tables appeared to be properly spaced, however the guests were not socially distanced at the tables or when mingling around the ballroom,” per the investigation. “None of the guest were wearing masks.”
Michigan’s dine-in ban started Nov. 18 and has been extended through Dec. 20.
So far, 21 businesses have had their liquor licenses suspended since September for not following the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders.
After these emergency suspensions, the restaurants appear at a hearing to make their case. For the first batch of restaurants, all of the hearings resulted in further fines and all but one had their liquor licenses suspended for at least another 45 days.
Here’s the latest batch of eight restaurants to get their liquor licenses suspended. Click the links to read the reasons for the suspensions.
Businesses in violation risk having their license suspended or revoked. The public can report any eateries with liquor licenses that are violating MDHHS orders by calling 866-893-2121.