Avenue Grille temporarily shut down for noncompliance of COVID-19 safety guidelines

AVENUE GRILLE of North Providence received an immediate compliance order July 7 from the R.I. Department of Business Regulation and forced to close temporarily until the restaurant implements safety measures to meet the state's COVID-19 guidelines. / COURTESY GOOGLE INC.
AVENUE GRILLE of North Providence received an immediate compliance order on July 8 from the R.I. Department of Business Regulation and was forced to close temporarily until the restaurant implements safety measures to meet the state's COVID-19 guidelines. / COURTESY GOOGLE INC.

PROVIDENCE – A second business has received an immediate compliance order from the R.I. Department of Business Regulation and has been forced to close until its owner implements the state’s COVID-19 regulations for safe operation.

North Providence-based Avenue Grille received the order July 8, according to DBR’s COVID-19 Compliance Orders transparency portal, after state inspectors on June 29 and July 7 noticed that the restaurant was not following any COVID-19 regulations. Among the violations the inspectors found were employees, including Avenue Grille owner Kevin Carbone, not wearing masks or face coverings, no screening of all individuals entering the establishment, tables were not separated by at least eight feet from one another, no proper cleaning was done prior to reopening and having a lack of a plan for safe operation.

Avenue Grille could face additional penalties if the restaurant fails to further comply with the order.

Harris Bar and Grill of Coventry is the only other business noted on the portal that has received an immediate compliance order – it received the order July 3. To date, nine businesses have received compliance orders in some capacity, the portal notes.

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During her July 8 press conference, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo said that the state would be increasing its enforcement on businesses that are not complying with the mandated health guidelines. Her announcement came more than a week after she admitted, when questioned by Providence Business News, that the state had a “very light touch” on enforcement and more personnel would be sent out to inspect businesses for compliance.

It was unclear, however, how many additional inspectors have been brought on by the state to conduct such reviews and what they were trained to look for. It was also unclear whether or not the compliance orders noted on the transparency portal will be updated to show that the businesses are now in compliance following a subsequent inspection and have been allowed to reopen.

DBR representatives did not immediately respond Monday to requests for additional comment.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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