Kansas City bar loses liquor license after not following COVID-19 safety protocols

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The crackdown on businesses that are not following COVID-19 protocols continues in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Scene KC Rock Bar lost its liquor license Wednesday after a hearing before the liquor control board.

Investigators with Regulated Industries said it started with a routine checkup on bars and restaurants in November during Kansas City’s emergency COVID-19 order.

Legal investigators said inside the bar many people weren’t wearing masks, practicing social distancing and the bar was opened past closing time.

“We automatically saw that it was full of parked vehicles which would indicate that there was plenty of occupants inside the business past the 10 p.m. closing time,” said Robin Perdomo, legal investigator with Regulated Industries.

Perdomo said she didn’t feel safe inspecting the bar because fear of her chances of contracting COVID-19.

Owner John Burke wasn’t on the virtual hearing, but the managing officer on the liquor license was.

“I was there earlier,” said Vicky C., managing officer on the liquor license. “I left and got sick. And I don’t know if anybody ever told them, but I know when I left there were some that didn’t have mask on. I don’t know what happened after I left is what I’m saying.”

Jim Ready, the manager of Regulated Industries sent FOX4 a comment on the board’s decision:

“I just want to take a moment to thank the Liquor Control Board of Review for understanding the gravity of the case that they heard today.

“John Burke, the majority owner of JLV Enterprises LLC that owns the liquor license of “The Scene,” was very defiant in his stance not to follow the mayor’s emergency order which outlined the steps retail sales-by-drink liquor licensed businesses were to take during the covid-19 pandemic.

“Furthermore, Mr. Burke was given ample opportunity to come into compliance with the emergency order and not only did he refuse to do so, he did so by taking an aggressive stance against Regulated Industries employees while they were trying to complete their official job duties at his business.”

FOX4 reached out to the owner about the board’s decision, but he said he wouldn’t be making a comment.

Moving forward the bar cannot sell liquor anymore, but Burke could be eligible for a license at a different location.

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