LANSING, MICH. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) has issued an emergency suspension of the liquor licenses and permits for the Wooden Nickel in Marquette. This licensee’s multiple violations of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Emergency Order on Gatherings and Face Masks include:
- allowing non-residential, indoor gatherings
- failure to require face coverings for staff and patrons
- exceeding 25% of normal seating capacity
- allowing indoor dining after the 10 p.m. curfew
Since September 2020, the MLCC has suspended liquor licenses of a total of 40 establishments located throughout the state for violations of the Executive and Emergency Orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On February 10, 2021, an MLCC Commissioner ordered the emergency suspension of the liquor licenses and permits held by Irie Vibes, Inc. d/b/a Wooden Nickel located at 1751 Presque Isle Ave., in Marquette. Specifically, the Commission issued an emergency suspension of its Class C license, and its Specially Designated Merchant license, and permits for Sunday Sales (A.M. and P.M.), Entertainment, and Outdoor Service.
The Wooden Nickel is scheduled to appear before an Administrative Law Judge on February 19, 2021, for a virtual hearing via Zoom to determine whether this summary suspension should continue, or other fines and penalties should be imposed.
The January 13, 2021 MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order strictly prohibited licensees from allowing indoor gatherings on their licensed premises. Further, these prohibited gatherings were held without requiring patrons to wear face masks and therefore posed an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Allowing this activity to continue could create additional outbreaks of COVID-19. Notably, the January 22, 2021 MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order allows indoor dining as of February 1, 2021, subject to capacity, curfew, face mask, social distancing and other restrictions.
Any licensed establishment that is in violation of the MDHHS emergency order will be held strictly accountable and risk suspension or revocation of its license. All licensees must comply not only with the MDHHS orders, but also with local health department orders and local ordinances regarding reduced occupancy rates and social distancing protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MLCC Enforcement Division is working diligently to ensure that licensees are compliant with the MDHHS orders and investigates all complaints relative to allegations of violations of the Liquor Control Code, Rules, and Emergency Orders, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The public can report any suspected non-compliance issue at an establishment directly to the MLCC by filing a complaint with the MLCC Enforcement Division online or by calling the division’s hotline, toll-free, at 866-893-2121. MLCC’s website (www.michigan.gov/lcc) provides information on the MDHHS Emergency Orders, indoor service restrictions, face mask requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions for restaurants and bars.
To date, there have been more than 576,264 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, resulting in more than 15,177 deaths. Although vaccination for COVID-19 is underway across the state, the pandemic is not yet at an end, and more challenging months lay ahead.
It is the mission of the MLCC to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through the regulation of those involved in the importation, sale, consumption, distribution, and delivery of these alcohol products.