MACON, Ga. — Fridays are busy days in the nightlife business, but this Friday night, no drinks are being poured. No people are inside the bar and employees clocked off, but not by choice at Overtyme Bar and Grill off Pio Nono Avenue.
Just before 7:30 p.m. Friday evening, deputies posted signs around Overtyme Bar and Grill, saying the establishment will be closed until further notice.
Sheriff David Davis ordered the bar to close its doors after being cited four times for violating the governor's order.
“[Deputies] saw people not wearing their masks, not adhering to the social distancing. There were more people than supposed to be in there,” Davis said.
According to the governor's order, the sheriff is authorized to shut down an establishment after the second citation for the remainder of the public health emergency.
“We've given them four chances to comply, and they haven't been able to do that. It's time. It's come on me to take some action,” Davis said.
Co-owner Larry Harris, along with some patrons like Antonio Williams, have claimed Overtyme was targeted.
“We have never had no problem here. I don't know why we have a problem now,” Williams said.
Sheriff Davis says that's not the case. One of the four citations stemmed from a routine check, but the other three citations came after deputies were responding to complaints at the bar.
“If someone calls, makes a complaint or concern, we have to follow up on it, but just because you have a complaint doesn't make it valid -- when the deputies get there and they see what they see and encounter the violation, well, in return, that's going to be a citation,” Davis said.
Sheriff David Davis added that he is giving Overtyme a chance to put together a work plan to show him that they could safely reopen and ensure the safety of their patrons.
Bar owners Larry and Charity Harris declined to comment on camera Friday.
Sheriff David Davis says his decision was solely because of the business's citations for violating the executive order and not the two recent citations for underage drinking.