DRAIN, Ore, -- The manager of a controversial Douglas County strip bar is speaking out after their liquor license was suspended for violating social distancing and mask requirements.
During an initial inspection, OLCC said its inspector observed a bartender not wearing a face mask. Later, in August, the bar allegedly stayed open past 10 p.m. and some staff members were not wearing face masks. An inspector in September reported similar findings, according to OLCC.
Manager Rik Marin said he was notified of the suspension last week. However, he said it hasn’t stopped him from running his business.
“This happened for a reason and only better things are going to happen because of what happened of us getting suspended,” he said.
The suspension comes more than a month after the Drain City Council passed a law that says all new businesses have to obtain a permit from the city. The law also says strip clubs cannot operation less than 500 feet from a place where children gather, including churches and the bar is located next to a church.
However, Marin claims the city hasn’t enforced this new rule and he feels like the suspension is another attack from the city.
“I feel like we have a huge target on our back because a lot of people don’t like our business,” said Marin.
Some Drain residents told KEZI 9 News that they’re fed up with the bar and everything it stands for. That’s why they said they’re glad the license was suspended.
“It’s just a different kind of culture than what we’re used to here,” said resident Claudia Gray. “We like it to be simple and quiet.”
However, Marin said he’s not going down without a fight.
He said he already filed an appeal against OLCC and he has vowed to keep the club open without the alcohol.
“People enjoy the building,” Marin said. “Even the local people who come here. They’re like, we can walk here, we walk upstairs and it’s like we’re not in Drain, Oregon, anymore.”