Michigan state Sen. Tom Barrett (R) recounted a story of a business owner last week about an alleged incident with a compliance agent from the Liquor Control Commission.
According to Barrett, an individual approached Charlie’s Bar and Grill in Potterville, saying he was “really lonely and asked if he could have something to eat”:
The restaurateur “felt bad for the man and served him a meal,” Barrett said.
He said the owner thought nothing of helping someone in need. But, according to Barrett, it was not simply a man down on his luck, but rather an agent of the Liquor Control Commission was who was apparently attempting to entrap the business owner.
A few days later, the liquor license of Charlie’s Bar and Grill was suspended after allegedly violating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D-MI) lockdown orders.
“Nobody in the Liquor Control Enforcement Division is missing a paycheck right now, wondering how they’ll get through Christmas,” Barrett noted, unlike many business owners and employees affected by the mandates.
Charlie’s Bar and Grill is one of several establishments hit by the Liquor Control Commission.
ABC 12 reported 26 establishments across the state have been punished by the agency for allegedly “violating coronavirus orders” since September.
Tenacity Brewing in Traverse City had its license suspended and must appear before a state administrative law judge on December 28. It said Vehicle City Tacos will remain open, allegedly in violation of Whitmer’s orders.
Via ABC 12:
The restaurants are accused of allowing gatherings, providing indoor dining service, failing to enforce face covering requirements and failing to restrict patrons from congregating.
All of those alleged violations are against a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services epidemic order in effect from Nov. 18 to Jan. 15 aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] around the state.
Whitmer’s coronavirus orders, issued via executive order, were ruled unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court in October. Within days, the Department of Health and Human Services reissued many of the same orders.
Michigan is one of 17 states that controls the sale of distilled spirits, according to the National Alcohol Beverage Association.
Several states larger than Michigan, including California, Florida, New York, and Texas, do not do so.
Michigan created its Liquor Control Commission 10 days after Prohibition ended in 1933.