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Erie County recommends MT Pockets bar to close for failure to comply with COVID-19 guidelines

A heated exchange between protesters and the bar's patrons took place Tuesday night.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County Department of Health said it is investigating MT Pockets Bar after it received a number of complaints overnight.

Protesters clashed with patrons outside MT Pockets Tuesday night during a protest taking place on Hertel Avenue. Video taken by reporters show several patrons on the patio with no masks on and yelling racial obscenities to protesters. 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the county will recommend MT Pockets bar to close for failure to COVID-19 guidelines. The owner will need to come up with a remediation plan before it can reopen.

County health officials went to the bar Wednesday, but the establishment was closed. Officials put a note on the door with recommendations. Poloncarz says MT Pockets was cited June 30 for COVID-19 violations. They passed a spot inspection in July.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says he spoke to owners of MT Pockets bar and they have agreed to close after “unruly behavior” on the part of customers during recent demonstrations and violations of mask and social distance protocols.