DENVER — The Tri-County Health Department on Tuesday ordered the Grizzly Rose to remain closed indefinitely for violations of COVID-19 protocols.
The popular country music venue and bar just north of Denver shut down voluntarily after a video of a packed dance floor went viral over the weekend.
Health department officials on Monday said they were monitoring the situation at Grizzly Rose, which has been no stranger to complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, the health department sent a letter to the venue's owners, telling them to shut down until officials "determine you are in compliance" with public health orders.
The letter cited previous violations of mask-wearing orders and social distancing guidelines.
Under the state’s COVID-19 dial – Level Orange, all restaurants and indoor entertainment events, such as The Grizzly Rose, cannot operate beyond 25% capacity or have more than 50 people inside —whichever is fewer.
Video shared on social media over the weekend, however, showed those metrics weren’t being followed.
“It seems like maybe in the beginning they were being good about social distancing. They were staying six feet apart, some people were wearing masks,” said Jenny Orin, speaking to Denver7 on Sunday about the packed country nightclub. “But the video that I saw from last night was something completely different. It was a complete violation of public health.”
It’s not the first time the Denver nightclub has been in trouble for violating local health guidelines.
Last fall, the TCHD issued a warning notice for non-compliance in October, at which point the owner decided to voluntarily close the establishment and recently reopened its doors to the public. In a statement sent to Denver7 Monday, health officials said the department had a compliance call with the owner of The Grizzly Rose as recently as last week to discuss the current rules and requirements.
“We are certainly aware of the video of the capacity issues at the Grizzly Rose over the weekend,” Brian Hlavacek, the director of environmental health for TCHD, said Monday. “We’re working with the owner on strategies to comply,” he said, adding the TCHD is working on next steps, “whether it’s a cease and desist or order to close.”