WARREN, Mich. – The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) issued an emergency suspension of liquor license and permits for Andiamo’s Warren restaurant on East 14 Mile Road in violation of Michigan’s current COVID-19 restrictions.
According to the MLCC on Tuesday, the suspension was issued on Dec. 10 for L.V. Management Inc. d/b/a Andiamo Italia.
The MLCC suspended the licensee’s Class C liquor license and permits for Sunday sales, dance entertainment, additional bar and catering in violation of allowing indoor gatherings and allowing individuals to gather without requiring them to wear face masks.
The suspension does not affect Andiamo’s other locations.
Seven other business were also issued an emergency suspension in the last week. Since September, a total of 21 establishments throughout Michigan have had their liquor licenses suspended.
According to the suspension report, on Dec. 4, MLCC’s Enforcement Division were investigating a complaint they received about the licensee allowing indoor gathering in November. The complaint, according to investigators, stated that a wedding party had occurred on Nov. 29 with over 75 guests in attendance.
The report stated when investigators went to the location on Dec. 4 to investigate, they noticed a seating chart listing 62 guests with table assignments. The report stated that while tables were properly spaced, “the guests were not socially distanced at the tables or when mingling around the ballroom. None of the guest were wearing masks.”
In addition, about 40 people were in the ballroom.
In November, Joe Vicari, who owns the Andiamo restaurant chain along with co-owner Rosalie Vicari, wrote a letter to Michigan restaurants urging them to defy Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state health department’s COVID-19 shutdown orders and reopen.
At the time, the state was under a “three-week pause,” effective Nov. 18 through Dec. 8. There was talk on whether Whitmer was going to extend the pause. Eventually, the pause was extended for 12 additional days -- through Dec. 20.
“We need to band together and fight this closure,” Vicari wrote. “Our industry cannot survive another long-term closure. We are stronger if we stand together and use our strength of fight back.”
Joe Vicari has since backtracked and clarified his intentions after first penning the letter to fellow restaurateurs, saying that he never wanted to defy the mandated orders and his top priority is to protect everyone’s health and safety amid the pandemic.
“This has been a devastating experience for us all. The safety of our community is our top priority, as we have all been affected and are all struggling through this pandemic -- some more deeply than others. Our intention with our letter to Detroit restaurateurs was to come together to have an open conversation on how we can preserve the restaurants in the Metro Detroit area while maintaining the livelihoods of our employees and upholding the health and safety of our community,” read a statement released on Dec. 4.
“We have never and will never defy mandated orders. Our goal is to figure out what’s next. How do we find a solution that not only fosters the economy of our great cities, but protects all Metro Detroiters including our employees who are also family?”
A post-suspension hearing for the Andiamo’s in Warren is scheduled for Dec. 18 to determine whether the suspension should remain or if other fines and penalties should be imposed.