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Sunday River Brewing Loses Appeal To Regain Licenses

Susan Sharon
Maine Public
Sunday River Brewing co-owner Rick Savage with a line of customers in the spring.

An administrative officer has ruled that the state was correct in denying licenses to Sunday River Brewing Co. over continued concerns about its compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

The state Department of Health and Human Services decided not to renew the restaurant’s eating and catering license earlier this month, pointing to four citations for “imminent health hazards” and five temporary license suspensions over violations including the failure of staff and patrons to wear masks.

Sunday River Brewing co-owner Rick Savage has publicly flouted the state’s COVID-19 health protocols.

The restaurant’s owners appealed. But agency staff argued that the restaurant repeatedly violated COVID-19 protocols, including requirements that staff and patrons wear face coverings.

A hearing officer agreed with the state’s decision, leaving the restaurant shut down for the time being.

Ted Dilworth, a lawyer representing Sunday River Brewing, says the decision could leave many local workers without a job, and that the restaurant has made changes and is no longer in violation.

“And when the people representing the state testified, such as Dr. Shah, they conceded that they could not point to any current violation,” he says.

Dilworth says if DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew agrees with the recommendation, Sunday River Brewing may appeal the department’s ruling in court.