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Circle S Saloon wants apology from Pima County after referred to Liquor Board

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MARANA, Ariz. (KVOA) - Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry issued a memorandum to the Board of Supervisors that informs them of some of the COVID-19 safety violations allegedly against Tucson-area businesses that serve food and alcohol. 

However, one local business owner said his saloon was unfairly put on that list.

Bob Spencer, owner of the Circle S Saloon in Marana said it was not fair his business was named on a list of 11 facilities that were referred to the Arizona State Liquor Board for non-compliance of some COVID-19 regulations.

"I've been on the phone with the health department probably six or seven times throughout this, trying to get it cleared up and trying to get them to possibly issue a statement saying they made a mistake with no avail. They revised our fail to a pass, (so) we now have the badge of compliance," said Spencer. "We take all steps necessary to comply and have since the beginning. Passing us now doesn't make up what they did to us."

Loni Anderson, REHS, RS/Pima County Health Department - Division Manager, has said -this- about the list.

"We are just referring them in terms of being open and leaving that up to the Liquor Board to determine their compliance," Anderson said. "It doesn't mean that we're asking them to close, but we're getting that additional confirmation from the state liquor board."

Spencer said Circle S Saloon has not only passed it's most recent health department inspection, but he was also been cleared by the Arizona Liquor Board. 

The original memorandum sent by the county administrator to the Board of Supervisors stated there were a number of complaints issued for people not wearing safety masks.

The memorandum is listed below

For the week of June 23, 2020 through June 30, 2020:

  • 72 Proclamation complaints received and addressed
  • 98 onsite assessments completed (due to a combination of complaints, requests, and routine scheduled inspections.)
  • Complaints were submitted by customers and employees and included issues regarding lack of cleaning, lack of masks by employees, ill employees, etc.

Last week, I directed Consumer Health and Food Safety Division of the Health Department to visit every bar in Pima County that holds a series 6 or 7 liquor license from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control to make sure they were in compliance with the Governor’s Order.

Of the 200 facilities, 168 were visited July 2 through July 5. The remainder are in more remote locations of the County and will be visited as soon as possible.

Note that the Executive Order does allow these types of facilities to serve customers through pick-up, delivery and drive-thru.

Some of these facilities have additional types of liquor licenses that were not impacted by the Order. For example, Peter Piper Pizza has a series 7 and series 12 liquor licenses. They are able to continue to serve alcohol to customers sitting at tables.

 Of the 168 visited:

  • 124 facilities were closed.
  • 44 facilities were open for business and an onsite observation was conducted.
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Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala is a 2-time winner of the prestigious”Edward R. Murrow Award” for his reporting/anchoring in news & sports. Paul Cicala has also been nominated for multiple EMMY’s. Cicala has won the “Best Sportscaster” category in Tucson the last five years (voted on by readers of “Tucson Weekly”). Cicala is a native Tucsonan who specialized in border stories during his earlier career as a news reporter in this market, and now concentrates mainly on sports stories (with an occasional special report and/or feature story on life in Tucson & the Sonoran Desert).

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