Kingston restaurant appeals liquor licence suspension after ignoring COVID-19 mandates

Kingston restaurant and bar JAKK Tuesday's is appealing its liquor licence suspension to the AGCO. The resturant owner, Kelly Hale, appeared in front of a tribunal on Tuesday.

Longtime west-end bar and restaurant JAKK Tuesdays Sports Pub has been in the local spotlight since early September after a message posted on the restaurant’s marquee suggested they wouldn’t be following the province’s COVID-19 mandates.

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The establishment, owned by Kelly Hale, went public with the fact that they wouldn’t be complying with mask mandates, checking for vaccination status or implementing contact tracing measures.

All of this led to the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) suspending the business’s liquor licence, with the intent of permanently revoking it.

Hale appealed the decision on the grounds that a public health inspection of his business was unlawful, while also presenting arguments against COVID-19 science used for regulations like masking.

Hale appeared before the province’s licence appeal tribunal Tuesday, where his legal representation said the business will be in danger of failing if the licence is not reinstated.

The AGCO was looking to extend the suspension due to alleged repeated instances of not following COVID-19 regulations like masking and asking for COVID-19 certificates.

Dan Hazell, supervisor of licensing and enforcement for the city of Kingston, says city bylaw has received several complaints about the business in the last few months. He also noted that KFL&A Public Health conducted an inspection of the restaurant and found that it was in non-compliance of multiple Reopening Ontario Act regulations.

When interviewed during the hearing, Hale repeatedly said he didn’t believe he had done anything to break the law, saying his actions have been “true and just.”

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He was asked if he would begin complying with the Reopening Ontario Act if his liquor licence was reinstated, and said he wouldn’t.

Despite the restaurant having a previously “blemish-free” record, the AGCO says based off of current behaviour from Hale, they recommend revoking the restaurant’s liquor licence.

A decision on whether or not the AGCO will extend the suspension will be made within days, while a decision on whether or not to revoke the liquor licence completely could take two or more weeks.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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