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Pizza And Martini Bribe Rejected: Sports Bar Closed Over Alleged COVID-19 Violations

Legend's Sports Bar
Legend's Sports Bar Photo Credit: Copyright 2020 Google Maps

An offer of pizza and martinis was not enough to persuade Connecticut officials from closing a bar allegedly violating COVID-19 economic restrictions.

On Friday, Nov. 13, agents from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection went to Legend’s Sports Bar, aka the L Bar, on Pine Street in Bristol to investigate claims that the bar was serving alcohol past the state’s new 9:30/10 p.m. curfew.

The bar has been closed temporarily and its liquor license suspended while owner Marc Leboeuf meets state criteria to reopen, according to a summary suspension order from the Commissioner of Consumer Protections Liquor Control Commission Chairwoman Michelle Seagull.

Shortly after agents arrived on Friday around 10 p.m., they met Leboeuf who was allegedly “sarcastic” with the officials and told them “to be less serious” before offering them pizza and martinis, according to the summary order.

“Mr. Leboeuf is unwilling to take responsibility for his businesses’ impact on public health,” said the summary order, which was issued on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The Friday inspection was conducted by the Bristol-Burlington Health District. Agents dropped by the bar around 10:15 p.m. Under new economic restrictions passed in Connecticut, bars and restaurants are supposed to close by 10 p.m.

When health officials arrived, they allegedly saw 45 people inside the establishment many of whom were “crowding the bar,” the summary suspension order said.

Drinks were allegedly being served and some people were ordering alcohol without food - a violation of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. Only places that serve food can also serve alcohol.

Agents also allegedly saw 16 people sitting at the bar without social distancing or plexiglass barriers.

When agents ordered the bar to close immediately, Leboeuf arrived on the scene and allegedly tried to smooth things over.

“Based upon the [local] health agents’ observations and photographic evidence that eventing and Mr. Lebouef’s attitude, [Board of Health Director Marco Palmeri] signed a cease and desist order that required Legend’s Sports Bar to immediately close,” the suspension order stated.

The official reasons to close the bar were:

- The establishment was acting as a bar and not serving food,

- Lack of social distancing enforcement,

- Dining area open with patrons after 10 p.m.

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