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The Welcome Inn, as seen in our 2017 post "The Welcome Inn Is One of Denver's Most Endangered Dive Bars."
The Welcome Inn, as seen in our 2017 post "The Welcome Inn Is One of Denver's Most Endangered Dive Bars."
Sarah McGill

See Businesses Cited or Closed for Violating Denver COVID-19 Orders

Last week, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment announced that it would be stepping up enforcement of public-health orders implemented in the city as part of the battle against COVID-19 — and it wasn't blowing smoke. On August 3, the DDPHE announced that it had cited or closed a slew of businesses for alleged violations in recent days. The operations shuttered in the action include the Welcome Inn, an iconic dive bar; Zanzibar Billiards, which survived an infamous makeover by the TV show Bar Rescue; Your Mom's House, a live-music venue on Capitol Hill; and two strip clubs, one the site of the original Family Dog, a famed rock club that played host to acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead.

The businesses targeted in the action are mapped below.

On July 31, DDPHE had issued a release titled "Denver Steps Up its Enforcement of Public Health Orders," which revealed that "investigators and Sheriff deputies are now teamed up to monitor compliance of the health orders and to enforce the rules. The teams will also pay extra attention to evening hours and weekends."

The notice added: "The city will focus on reinforcing the responsibility of businesses to monitor for compliance of the order — not just amongst their staff but also customers. Enforcement teams could also cite individuals. Teams will look at the widespread use of face coverings, posting of required signage, proper social distancing, the maximum capacity of businesses, and abiding by the state’s new last call rule. Businesses can get a ticket if more than 10 percent of their customers are not wearing face coverings or if employees are not wearing them."

Since May, the department revealed, enforcement teams had issued 12,416 warnings about public-health-order violations, mostly over a lack of face coverings, but just thirty citations.

And Denver's health officials got busier over the next few days. On July 31, they made 28 contacts (26 over masks), gave out another 28 warnings and delivered seven citations. On August 1, there were 44 contacts (42 over masks), 42 warnings and eight citations. And on August 2, the DDPHE made 31 contacts (twenty over masks), passed along 28 warnings and cited five.

Here's a map showing the locations of each business, along with a list of those cited or closed:

Businesses receiving citations

7/31: PT’s Show Club, 1601 West Evans Avenue
Reason for ticket: Violation of public health order
7/31: Qdoba, 4955 South Ulster Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
7/31: PT's Show Club, 3480 South Galena Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering and public-health-order violations
7/31: Griffin Tavern, 5062 South Syracuse Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
7/31: Tetra Lounge, 3039 Walnut Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
7/31: Zanzibar Billiards, 2046 Larimer Street
Reason for ticket: Employee and patron face-covering and public-health-order violations
7/31: JD's Bar, 201 West 48th Avenue
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation and alcohol service after 10 p.m.
8/1: AT&T (1501 South Colorado Boulevard
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/1: Stranahan's Whiskey, 200 South Kalamath Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/1: Family Dollar, 4701 Peoria Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/1: 7-Eleven, 380 East 17th Avenue
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/1: Salon Ocampo, 1733 West Mississippi Avenue
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/1: Your Mom's House, 608 East 13th Avenue
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering and public-health-order violations
8/1: Urban Sombrero, 16221 East 40th Avenue
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/1: The Squeeze, 5395 48th Avenue
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/2: Welcome Inn, 3659 Chestnut Place
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering and public-health-order violations
8/2: The Retro Room, 2034 Larimer Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/2: Pedal Hopper, 2265 Lawrence Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/2: Homegrown Tap and Dough, 1001 South Gaylord Street
Reason for ticket: Employee face-covering violation
8/2: Mecca Tavern, 815 Federal Boulevard
Reason for ticket: Violation of public health order and patrons seated within six feet of others

Businesses closed

Welcome Inn, 3659 Chestnut Place
Your Mom’s House, 608 East 13th Avenue
PT’s Show Club, 1601 West Evans Avenue
PT’s Show Club, 3480 South Galena Street
Zanzibar, 2046 Larimer Street

According to the DDPHE, "The city is taking this decisive approach to prevent further closures in our community and resulting economic damage. Denver continues to see more new cases than any other metro-area county." The shutdowns occurred because the businesses in question "had either previously been warned to abide by the orders or the violations were egregious."

The DDPHE is clearly not messing around.

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