ABC cites SLO County establishments for coronavirus violations

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has issued citations to a local brewery and winery for violating state coronavirus health orders. [Tribune]

ABC cited Santa Maria Brewing Co. locations in both Atascadero and Nipomo, as well as Iron Oaks Winery in Paso Robles, for allowing on-site alcohol consumption. Department spokesman John Carr said indoor and outdoor dining was also observed at both Santa Maria Brewing Co. locations, in violation of state rules.

Both Santa Maria Brewing Co. violations occurred on Jan. 21, while the Iron Oaks Winery violation occurred on Jan. 22, according to ABC. At the time, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s regional stay-at-home order was in effect. 

Businesses receive citations after ABC agents inspect an establishment and see it is not in compliance with state public health orders. Violators can face fines and are at risk of having their liquor licenses suspended or revoked.

Additionally, ABC is sending reports to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office to consider criminal prosecution against Santa Maria Brewing Co. and Iron Oaks Winery.

Previously, ABC warned several restaurants and bars in SLO County about following state coronavirus rules. One establishment, Pappy McGregor’s in Paso Robles, disclosed in a Facebook post last month that it received a warning over in-person dining.

On Monday, county supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong sent a letter to Newsom asking that ABC stop threatening to close local restaurants, bars and wineries for violating COVID-19 regulations unless the rules are supported by empirical data. 

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