Suspension for repeated COVID-19 violations and refusal to comply within 24-hour period
OLYMPIA, WA - The state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) issued an emergency liquor license suspension for Koko’s Bartini due to repeated public safety violations of state COVID-19 guidelines. On December 29, the LCB notified Koko’s that unless they chose to comply with state guidelines within 24 hours, the 180-day suspension would be in effect and any liquor sales after that time would not be legal. Evidence shows they were open for indoor service on the evening of Dec. 30, thereby activating the 180-day suspension.
Licensee: Koko’s Bartini, 4309 W 27th PL. STE 100, Kennewick, Washington
From November 18 to December 22, 2020, LCB received at least 143 complaints for allegations of COVID-19 violations at Koko’s. After several verbal warnings, a written warning and Administrative Violation AVN, the premises has continued to violate the Governor’s public health and safety proclamation and is currently open for on-premises services. Through advertising and social media, the premises continues to encourage customers to come to the premises and join the “peaceful protest.” The premises posts photos of customers employees not wearing masks.
Due to the repeated non-compliance and disregard for public health and safety, the Board issued a 180-day summary suspension of the liquor license per RCW 66.08.150(4).
Licensees have the responsibility to control their conduct and the conduct of employees and patrons on their premises at all times. Except as otherwise provided by law, licensees or employees may not: (c) Engage in or allow behavior that provokes conduct which presents a threat to public safety. The current state law related to indoor seating and service is as follows:
Restaurants and Bars are closed for indoor dine-in service. Outdoor dining and to-go service are permitted, provided that all outdoor dining must comply with the requirements of the Outdoor Dining Guidance. Table size for outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of five (5) people. These modified restaurant and bar restrictions went into effect on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
The LCB educates licensees to reach compliance and enforces Washington’s liquor, cannabis, vape and tobacco laws and regulations. The LCB is mandated to ensure that licensees in Washington State follow state laws and regulations. When licensees fail to comply with state law, the Board, under state authority can take action including the issuance of suspensions to ensure public health and safety.