CORONAVIRUS

Iowa City's Bo-James among bars accused of violating COVID-19 orders

Six businesses face complaints

Bar patrons wait in line in front of Bo James in Iowa City on Aug. 22, the weekend before fall classes began at the Univ
Bar patrons wait in line in front of Bo James in Iowa City on Aug. 22, the weekend before fall classes began at the University of Iowa. Authorities on Wednesday announced six businesses — including Bo James — have been cited for failing to comply with an Aug. 27 governor’s order closing bars and restricting restaurant operations in six Iowa counties with rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. (Nick Rohlman/freelance for The Gazette)

Iowa City’s Bo James bar is among six businesses cited for violating the Iowa governor’s Aug. 27 order closing bars in six Iowa counties.

Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverages Division announced the citations Wednesday. The establishments cited included two in Waterloo near the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Bo James is accused of failing to comply with the governor’s order a day after she issued it.

The order, in addition to closing bars, mandated social distancing in businesses like restaurants, requiring them to quit selling alcohol after 10 p.m.

The Bo-James complaint reports the restaurant/bar — popular among University of Iowa students — failed to ensure at least 6 feet of distance between groups or individuals; failed to ensure customers who got alcohol also got food; and failed to make sure patrons were seated at a table, booth or bar while drinking or eating.

A Gazette reporter a week before observed students standing shoulder to shoulder, without face coverings, inside Bo James and other downtown bars.

The citation for Edo’s Sports Bar in Waterloo dates to Sept. 11, when the establishment is accused of failing to ensure distancing, failing to serve food with alcohol and failing to make sure patrons were seated when drinking and eating.

Knights of Pythias-Furgerson Lodge No. 5 in Waterloo is accused of opening Sept. 9, despite the order closing bars in Black Hawk County.

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The three establishments cited were Cube Ultra Lounge in Council Bluffs and the Xcaret Club and Lounge and Shotgun Betty’s, both in West Des Moines.

Each establishment faces a civil penalty for the violations but have the right to appeal.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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