SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- More Scottsdale bars and nightclubs are temporarily shut down after they received notices from the governor's office that they weren't complying with executive orders on stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
Evening Entertainment Group said on Friday its closing Bottled Blonde Pizzeria, HiFi Kitchen + Cocktails, Casa Amigos Tacos + Tequila, and Skylanes.
"We made significant efforts to maintain a safe environment, but feel that temporarily closing is the best way to support our team and our guests during this current spike," Lesa and Diane Corieri, Evening Entertainment Group owners, said in a statement.
Maya Day and Night Club, also in Scottsdale's entertainment district, announced it will be closed from Friday through at least the July 4 weekend. Hi-Fi posted on Instagram that it is temporarily closing as well. INTL Nightclub said in an Instagram post, it would be closed on Thursday but posted "TGIF" on Friday.
The sharp rise in COVID-19 cases has moved 3 nightclubs to temporarily close in Old Town Scottsdale.
The new closure announcements come a day after El Hefe, Riot House and Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row decided to temporarily close until at least Sunday. The group said it's unclear when they'll reopen.
Riot House was charged with a misdemeanor for not enforcing social distancing policies to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In addition, Bottled Blonde, Pattie's First Avenue Lounge, Casa Amigos, El Hefe, INTL Nightclub, Maya Day and Nightclub and Hi-Fi received final notices from the state liquor department to comply with the guidelines. We've reached out to Pattie's manager about whether the bar is open but haven't heard back.
Reaction from Scottsdale Mayor
On Friday morning, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane talked about the crackdown -- and what happened ahead of it.
Lane said nightclubs could be categorized as restaurants with dine-in service. "We had some real difficulty with the idea of what was going to be required on masking and also with the protocol plans that they had put in place."
"We want to be the leaders in this. We want to do what we can to prevent the spread of COVID. If we can by closing the three locations here in Old Town does that, then we're happy to do so," said Lissa Druss, spokeswoman for Riot Hospitality Group.
Ducey weighs in
Scottsdale police say they observed Riot House staff and patrons at the bar not practicing physical distancing, not wearing face coverings, and not complying with their plan.
During Gov. Doug Ducey's news conference Thursday, he said it's important to observe mandates about masks and social distancing, and "take enforcement actions" when violations occur. He mentioned Riot House.
The governor's news conference comes as Arizona sees a big spike in COVID- 19 cases.
Arizona's Family reached out to Evening Entertainment Group, which owns Bottled Blonde, Casa Amigos and Hi-Fi and it sent us a statement, which said the group has been "steadfast" in its intentions to operate the restaurants responsibly, and will continue to work to uphold the guidelines. The statement went on to detail the steps that would be taken (like plexiglass partitions and mandatory mask enforcement) to keep patrons safe.
"I've seen a lot of people here not abiding by wearing the masks and keeping themselves safe," said Sharleen Cabral, who works in Old Town Scottsdale.
She think businesses should be charged if they're not enforcing safety measures.
"They all need to be keeping people safe, first of all,"said Cabral. "It's just about being safe. Does your money really matter?"
"Like one of the club owners told me, it's very hard to tell an inebriated 30-year-old guy what to do, and they're not getting a lot of cooperation," said Larry Kush, who is a Scottsdale planning commissioner.
Scottsdale mandatory masks
Last week, the City of Scottsdale joined other cities in Arizona by issuing a mask mandate as COVID-19 cases increase. Mayor Jim Lane issued the emergency proclamation, telling people to cover their noses and mouths in most public areas. The mandate went into effect Friday, June 19 at 5 p.m.
On that day, Riot Hospitality Group issued the following statement:
“Leading up to the reopening of our venues, we set new health and safety standards that went above and beyond what our licensing authorities require. We have already put measures in place to adopt to the new guidelines.”
Riot House has been charged with a class one misdemeanor in violation of A.R.S. Section 26-317.
For weeks, there have been videos circulating online that have been stirring up controversy. The videos show large crowds of people packed into bars in Scottsdale.
There are now new signs in front of some of the bars telling patrons masks are required while inside.
“We'd like to think we have confidence that everybody is going to try to abide,” Mayor Jim Lane has said. “We've done, throughout the pandemic, a very good job I think of education and informing people and trying to solicit their cooperation to work with us.”
Here is the full statement from Evening Entertainment Group:
We've been steadfast in our intentions to operate our restaurants responsibly, and within the guidelines provided by the city, state, and the CDC. We will continue to work as a team, together with our guests, to uphold the guidelines while operating our business. We're reviewing our approach on all levels and will work to provide a safe environment. We've installed plexiglass partitions that keep small groups of diners together, and distanced (this is not easily visible from the street), we follow all other guidelines, including operating at 50% capacity, requiring and enforcing masks upon entry, exit and while moving about. We have removed guests for non-compliance, and will continue to do so if necessary.
#BREAKING: After ignoring crowed night clubs and bars for weeks, @dougducey releases a list of businesses that the Department of Liquor Department is cracking down on #azfamily pic.twitter.com/qaUWn9ZFDK— Dennis Welch (@dennis_welch) June 25, 2020