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City Shuts Down Cork & Kerry For Ignoring Mask Mandate; Employee Tested Positive For COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Cork & Kerry, a popular Irish pub in the Beverly neighborhood, has been shut down by the city, after repeatedly violating reopening requirements by staying open past midnight, and not requiring customers and staff to wear masks.

An employee at the bar also recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to Ald. Matt O'Shea's office in the 19th Ward.

The city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said investigators visited Cork & Kerry early Saturday morning, and found patrons and employees were not wearing face coverings as required, and that the bar was open after midnight, in violation of the city's Phase 4 reopening rules.

The city closed the bar on Saturday, and investigators returned early Sunday, and found the same violations. BACP cited Cork & Kerry again, and ordered the pub to remain closed until they submit and the city approves a plan to safely reopen.

"Irresponsible actions like this put our entire city at risk and will not be tolerated," BACP spokesman Isaac Reichman wrote in an email.

O'Shea said he has asked BACP to work with the owner of Cork & Kerry to make sure the tavern comes into compliance with the city's public health regulations.

"The safety of residents is my top priority. It is my hope that this business will soon re-open in a safe and responsible manner," O'Shea wrote in an email to his constituents.

Over the weekend, the city conducted a total of 55 investigations of complaints regarding Phase 4 reopening requirements, and canvassed various entertainment districts, including in Wrigleyville during the Cubs home opener on Friday. In total, the city issued 11 citations to five businesses for failing to follow reopening guidelines.

Cork & Kerry is the third business to be shut down by the city for violating reopening guidelines. Two weeks ago, the city shut down Wise Owl Drinkery & Cookhouse in the West Loop violating capacity limits, failing to maintain social distancing, failing to require customers to wear masks, and serving customers who were not seated as required by Phase 4 reopening guidelines. Over July 4th weekend, the city also shut down tour boat operator Chicago Lakefront Cruises, for allowing nearly 100 people to cram onto the top deck of one of their vessels.

Chicago Lakefront Cruises has since reopened, and Wise Owl is still working with the city to finalize their plan to reopen safely.

Since the city entered Phase 3 of reopening on June 3, the city has received 1,877 reopening complaints, conducted 784 investigations, issued 130 warnings or Notices to Correct, cited 48 businesses, and ordered three businesses to close.


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