Fans of Sarah’s Bull Pen were able to start imbibing their favorite alcoholic drink again Saturday night after the owner reached an agreement with the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.
The department indefinitely suspended the bar’s liquor license following a March 5 visit to the Safford establishment. According to the notice, investigators found numerous COVID-19 code violations.
Specifically the investigators found:
Staff and customer mask violations
Patrons not seated; walking about the business and “standing, congregating and mingling”
Staff and customers failing to social distance.
Department officials had a number of contacts with owner Sarah Henderson related to liquor laws and COVID-19 public health orders going back to Aug. 3, 2020, said Jeffery Trillo, assistant director or the licensing and administration division.
At the time of the suspension Henderson said she and her staff had implemented COVID-19 mitigation efforts and felt singled out by the board.
On Saturday, Henderson said she’s just happy that what could have been a 60-day suspension ended up being a six-day suspension. She said the board gave her the OK Friday to start serving alcohol again Saturday night provided she takes certain steps and pay what she described as a fine “on the lower end” of the $3,000-$10,000 range.
Patrons will be escorted to their seats and reminded they must wear their masks while playing pool and while at the juke box, Henderson said. She’s also removing additional bar stools and chairs and encouraging people to take advantage of the backyard.
She also had to write a letter describing the mitigation efforts she’s taking, Henderson said.
The investigators visited Safford on the day Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order lifting an earlier rule he imposed limiting the indoor capacity of bars and restaurants to 50% of what their space holds. However, patrons are still required to wear masks when not seated and physical distancing is still required between tables.
Trillo said the executive order “had no bearing on driving detective actions. The trip to Stafford was planned ahead of time. Timing was simply coincidental.”
During the same visit, Trillo said detectives went to JD’s Grill House and found the business “to be generally compliant with public health operations requirements, but had areas requiring improvement.”
The business was given a Notice of Violation letter because of concerns over staff and customer mask violations, open seating and patrons walking about the business.
“A Notice of Violation affords the licensee notice and an opportunity to rectify the public health areas of concern without the establishment having to temporarily halt services to do so,” Trillo said.
C & C’s Hideaway was observed to be compliant with Arizona’s public health operations requirements, Trillo said.