Milwaukee hires third party company to enforce bar, restaurant COVID regulations

NOW: Milwaukee hires third party company to enforce bar, restaurant COVID regulations

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Lisa Purdy said she hadn’t been to a restaurant in six months.

So when she visited Milwaukee this week, she didn’t know what to expect.

“I was a little concerned," Purdy said. "But you know, coming out and going to a couple places, I was extremely pleasantly surprised.”

Not everyone is impressed with the Milwaukee scene.

The Milwaukee Public Health Department contracted the third party firm Elite Process Service to help crack down on violations from restaurants and bars. 

Owner Tim Stein said he will make 15 checks on the first night, Friday, March 5. He expects to make about 30 inspections a week.

Sobleman’s bartender Warren Daigel said he supports cracking down on restaurants not following the rules.

“There are too many places that just aren’t doing what they should be doing," Daigel said. "We are, so I’m not worried about that.”

Stein said these are not random inspections. He will only arrive in businesses that receive complaints filed with the city.

“They receive these complaints from citizens like you and I," Stein said. "They’ll actually receive them from employees of the establishment that are complaining about their own establishment.”

The added checks come as businesses reopen. Mo’s Irish Pub is preparing to safely celebrate St Patrick’s Day after recently opening for the first time in a year.

“Everybody will be temperature checked walking in," Manager Katie Hubert said. "We have hand sanitizer. We have three bars, so people will be able to socially distance.

Stein says he will wear identification during checks and will announce his presence to management. He will then create a report on safety measures.

“That report will be reviewed by the city internally, by the city of Milwaukee and the health department. And then from there it will be determined if a citation, or if it rises to the level of a citation.”

The Milwaukee Health Department will keep doing independent inspections as well. 

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