Seattle bar's repeated COVID-19 violations lead to shut down

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Public Health – Seattle & King County has suspended the license of a restaurant in Seattle after it says management defied the state’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Flowers Restaurant in the U District violated social distancing guidelines, seating restrictions and facial coverings order, according to inspection records. Inspection records also say the restaurant’s owner said at one point that he doesn’t care about the guidelines.

In a letter this week, health inspectors noted that the bar/restaurant has a history of noncompliance with COVID-19 safety concerns.

Owner Fadi Hamade called those allegations “a complete fabrication,” saying he would not make such reckless decisions to jeopardize a bar restaurant he has built up for the past 30 years, The Seattle Times reported.

Last month, inspectors reported the establishment was “operating at full capacity” and was crowded at a time when King County food and drink establishments were supposed to keep indoor seating to 50% capacity. An inspector also said the restaurant’s staff was “observed serving drinks without wearing face coverings.”

The health department supervisor who signed off on the license suspension declined to comment. But an hour later, the health department released a photo to The Seattle Times that showed the Flowers bar crowded, with many maskless patrons seated close together.

Last summer, the health department closed Duke’s Seafood in West Seattle after seven employees tested positive for COVID-19. The popular chain was allowed to reopen weeks later.

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