Twisted River Saloon loses liquor license for COVID-19 rule violations

The Springfield business remained open for dine-in service while Lane County was in the “extreme risk” category.

Posted: Feb 24, 2021 12:59 PM
Updated: Feb 24, 2021 4:21 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has suspended the Twisted River Saloon’s liquor license for allowing indoor dining in violation of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The business at 1444 Main Street in Springfield had remained open for dine-in service while Lane County has been in the “extreme risk” category.

The OLCC issued the liquor license suspension on Tuesday, and the notice has been served and posted at the business.

The immediate license suspension was issued because the Twisted River Saloon violated public health social distancing requirements by allowing indoor on-premises consumption of food and drink. The business is not allowed to sell or serve any alcoholic beverages.

The OLCC said that in December, the Twisted River Saloon’s licensee contacted the OLCC and informed the agency that it would be reopening. At the time Lane County was in the “extreme risk” category, which does not allow indoor dining.

OLCC staff encouraged the business to follow the Oregon Health Authority guidelines under the governor’s executive order. These guidelines assign health and safety measures to counties based on four levels: extreme, high, moderate and low risk.

In January, the OLCC was told the business had reopened and the indoor portion of the business was filled to capacity. OLCC compliance staff visited the business on Jan. 7, and confirmed that indoor dining was taking place. When the OLCC followed up with the business, the owner indicated the Twisted River Saloon would continue to offer both indoor and outdoor dining.

Social media posts indicate that the business remains open for indoor dining and offers live entertainment. Lane County is still in the “Extreme Risk” category which limits bars, restaurants, breweries and wineries to takeout service and scaled back outdoor dining.

The licensees of record are James Butt, managing member, and Shawn Werner, member of Route JGB Enterprises, LLC.

The licensee was cited for violating both the Governor's Executive Order 20-66 and Oregon Health Authority – Living With Covid-19 (Extreme Risk) guidance when it allowed patrons to consume food and beverages on the licensed premises.

The OLCC investigation is continuing and the licensee faces the possibility of additional charges for liquor rule violations. The licensee is entitled to exercise their administrative hearing rights to challenge the OLCC’s actions.

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