Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Vibes Hookah Lounge indoor hookah shut down by MoCo in Rockville, remains open for retail sales, takeout, outdoor hookah
UPDATE - 3:44 PM: The owner of Vibes Hookah Lounge disputes Montgomery County's claim that the business was "closed" by the County. He says Vibes remains open for retail sales, takeout service, and outdoor hookah, and that the County inspector ordered that indoor hookah not be allowed during Phase 2 of reopening
Montgomery County inspectors have taken enforcement action against several businesses they say have not complied with Phase 2 reopening guidelines and social distancing requirements. Vibes Hookah Lounge at 1 Dawson Avenue in Rockville was closed down by County inspectors because hookah lounges are not currently allowed to operate under Phase 2 rules.
Cabana Hookah Lounge in Silver Spring was shut down by the County for the same reason, County officials said Monday. Additionally, the County forced The Palisades Lounge in downtown Silver Spring to close because social distancing was not being enforced, and for a liquor law violation, officials alleged.
The Grille at Flower Hill in Gaithersburg came onto County officials' radar after the owner vowed on social media not to follow the County requirement that employees wear masks. But it has not been closed down yet, as it is not reopening until Thursday, when an inspector will reportedly pay a visit.
County health officer Dr. Travis Gayles said Monday that the County has "legal authority" to close businesses that do not comply with reopening guidelines. "Businesses will stay open provided they follow the public health guidelines," County Executive Marc Elrich said yesterday. "If they choose to ignore public health guidance, we will shut them down."