Sultan bar’s liquor license suspended due to COVID violations

For 180 days, the Loggers Inn can operate as a restaurant but must not serve alcohol.

SULTAN — The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued an emergency liquor license suspension Wednesday for the Loggers Inn after officers witnessed three COVID-19 violations in two months.

The suspension is for 180 days. The Loggers Inn can appeal the decision.

Bar owner Leo Moreno was not sure of his next steps, but he planned to talk with a lawyer. The business can still operate as a restaurant but must not serve alcohol.

“While the licensee informed officers on at least two occasions he would comply with the state COVID-19 order, follow-up visits showed they were not complying,” according to a WSLCB news release.

The Loggers Inn, at 215 Main St., claims to be the “oldest bar in the West.” It’s been open since 1880, Moreno said.

Besides the three COVID violations, officers also noticed people using marijuana there nearly a year ago. Board officers last visited the bar Oct. 24.

Around 30 customers and two employees reportedly were not wearing masks or social distancing at the time. Signs also made it clear that customers were not expected to follow coronavirus guidelines, board spokesperson Julie Graham said.

“Those are all violations and it is a big concern,” she said. “Especially at a time when we know the disease is continuing to spread and increase in our state.”

Snohomish County reported more than 140 cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the highest single-day total of the pandemic, according to the Snohomish Health District.

While he has moved seats away from the bar and closed by the required time, Moreno said, he has not enforced masks or social distancing because there have not been many cases in Sultan, where an estimated 5,530 people live. Since March the city has seen 70 cases, health district data show.

Plus, Moreno said, most customers have been visiting the bar for decades.

“I don’t get people from other places, I get people who come here until literally the day they die,” he said. “This is a small town bar, not some big city place.”

Moreno has owned the bar for 16 years. He does not believe the state should be able to take away his liquor license for the offenses.

“They are not here as the LCB, they are here as the socialist police,” he said. “When they say you can’t do this, you can’t do that … they are pretty much telling us: ‘Forget the American dream.’”

This kind of liquor license suspension appears to be the first in the county, Graham said.

Usually when a business is made aware of a COVID violation, owners do their best to fix it.

“Most places want to do the right thing,” Graham said. “We are grateful they are complying. It makes the public safer and our job easier.”

Moreno has 20 days to appeal the board’s decision.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192;; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A wanted suspect was arrested after a standoff with law enforcement Tuesday night. (Bothell Police Department)
Kidnapping suspect arrested after standoff in Bothell

A large police presence contained the property in the 20500 block of 32nd Dr. SE on Tuesday night.

Community Transit's Lynnwood microtransit pilot project is set to launch this fall with a service area around the Alderwood mall. (Community Transit)
Lynnwood’s microtransit test begins this fall, others possible

Community Transit could launch other on-demand services in Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens.

Doctor Thomas Robey sits in a courtyard at Providence Regional Medical Center on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘It’d be a miracle’: Providence tests new treatment for meth addiction

Monoclonal antibodies could lead to the first drug designed to fight meth addiction. Everett was chosen due to its high meth use.

Rev. Barbara Raspberry, dressed in her go-to officiating garments, sits in the indoor chapel at her home, the Purple Wedding Chapel, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Everett, Washington. The space used to be two bedrooms, but she and her husband Don took down a wall converted them into a room for wedding ceremonies the day after their youngest son moved out over 20 years ago. The room can seat about 20 for in-person ceremonies, plus it serves as a changing room for brides and is the setting for virtual weddings that Raspberry officiates between brides and their incarcerated fiancees at the Monroe Correctional Complex. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s oh-so-colorful Purple Wedding Chapel is in the red

Rev. Rasberry has hitched hundreds of couples over the years. After her husband died, she’s unsure if she can keep the place.

Man dies in motorcycle crash that snarled I-5 in Everett

Washington State Patrol: he tried to speed by another driver but lost control and hit the shoulder barrier.

Patrick Diller, head of community partnerships for Pallet, discusses the Pallet Shelter Pilot Project last June in Everett. (Katie Hayes / Herald file) June 29, 2021
State laws prompt changes in Everett city rules for shelters

The city is considering revisions to issue permits more quickly for emergency shelters.

Two vehicles rolled over and three people suffered injuries Saturday in what’s believed to be a DUI crash on Highway 522. (Snohomish County Fire District 7)
Shoreline woman charged with ‘reckless’ homicide in deadly Monroe crash

Prosecutors allege Addele Wells was driving erratically when she crashed into an Audi, killing Megan Barney, 24, in 2020.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Whatcom County seeks to shuttle 45 inmates to half-empty Everett jail

Under the proposed agreement, Whatcom County would pay over $1 million through this year amid a rising jail population.

It’s a wrap: Primary results certified as November matchups set

In Snohomish County, 3,008 ballots got rejected. Some arrived late. Others weren’t signed. Twenty were for the wrong election.

Most Read