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Powhatan restaurant cited for ‘Jambo party’

POWHATAN POINT — A local restaurant was cited by the state over the weekend after hosting a “Jambo Party” that did not comply with regulations on crowd size and social distancing.

According to Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Sproul, the health department received an anonymous call around 3:30 p.m. Friday that the Riverside Restaurant & Bar in Powhatan Point was violating social distancing regulations in defiance of Gov. Mike DeWine’s orders

Sproul said the department forwarded the complaint to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.

“We got complaints about this going on and they were wondering how this complied with the governor’s orders,” Sproul said. “They went down and investigated, found that (the restaurant) was not obeying, they were not social distancing, basically disobeying the governor’s orders.”

Sproul said the county health department did not take direct action against Riverside.

The Division of Liquor Control said Monday that the investigation was carried out by the Ohio Investigative Unit.

In a statement, the OIU said Riverside Restaurant & Bar was issued an administrative citation for violations of the Ohio Department of Health orders, one of seven citations issued in the state over the weekend. Agents stated that they arrived and saw a large crowd standing around the bar, with others moving around, hugging one another, and crowded shoulder-to-shoulder in some places. None of the employees was wearing a mask, nor was any attempt made to create or enforce social distancing, the report states.

The citation will be handled by the Liquor Control Commission at a future date. The restaurant remains open.

Posts on social media from Riverside indicate that the establishment was holding a “Jambo Party” in the spirit of the now-defunct Jamboree In The Hills music festival, leading to a large turnout at the restaurant.

Management staff at Riverside could not be reached for comment Monday. The attorney representing the bar did not return calls seeking comment.

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