Health Officials Temporarily Close 5 Salt Lake City Bars For Violating COVID-19 Rules

Feb 15, 2021, 10:56 AM | Updated: 12:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Salt Lake County Health Department is cracking down on restaurants and bars that aren’t following COVID-19 protocols.

Over the weekend, a handful of bars in Salt Lake City were ordered to close temporarily, and several others were cited.

Twist, 32 W. Exchange Place, along with Lake Effect, 155 W. 200 South; Echo, 134 W. Pierpont Ave.; Karma, 122 Pierpont Ave.; and an establishment located at 60 W. Market Street that was previously the New Yorker; were all ordered to shut down for violating one or more of the rules to stay open during the pandemic.

Bars and restaurants must have tables spaced at a certain distance, adhere to capacity rules, and enforce mask wearing among both employees and customers.

Twist owner Kirk Bengtzen said health department officials came to his business Saturday at approximately 11:15 p.m. and said the bar’s tables needed to be 10 feet apart. He said the health department has been to the location multiple times before, and they hadn’t told him about the 10-foot rule – only that patrons needed to be 6 feet apart.

Bengtzen was one of the bar owners who sued the state last year after it banned the sale of alcoholic beverages after 10 p.m.

He said he spoke with other bar owners outside of the downtown area who said hadn’t been visited by the health department.

Twist and Lake Effect both filed paperwork to reopen the day after they received the violation.

Other businesses were issued warnings, including Soundwell, 149 W. 200 South; Wasted Space, 342 S. State St.;  and London Belle, 321 S. Main St.

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Health Officials Temporarily Close 5 Salt Lake City Bars For Violating COVID-19 Rules