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State shuts down outdoor dining at popular Savanna biker bar

SAVANNA – Poopy's Pub 'n Grub, which opened Friday for curbside service and was allowing patrons to dine on site on well-distanced picnic tables, was told by the state today to cut it out.

The popular and colorful bar and grill at 1030 Viaduct Road, one of the biggest biker bars in the region, was allowing patrons to come inside to pick up covered containers of food and drink as long as they wore masks and adhered to social distancing. Hard alcohol was not sold, owner Kevin Promenschenkel said on Facebook.

They then were allowed to dine on the outdoor patio on tables spaced 10 feet apart.

"Poopy's is different, because we have the outside room to facilitate. Nobody ate or drank on the inside premises.

"Pretty hard for bikers to eat on a motorcycle. So we are trying to social distance as much as possible," Promenschenkel said in a post Wednesday.

The practice drew some pretty strong criticism as well as some support on the social media site.

"Of course the haters were out in full force and have made many phone calls to shut us down completely. ... I have been informed by the authorities and am aware of the laws, " he wrote Wednesday.

Promenschenkel said he has lost two-thirds of his business to the coronavirus outbreak.

"We are a business fighting for our life."

In the end, though, the outdoor dining had to go.

The Illinois Liquor Commission issued Promenschenkel a cease-and-desist order, which he posted on Poopy's Facebook page this afternoon.

"Please be advised that your establishment is unlawfully operating amidst a declared limitation on services that is necessary and proper to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 pathogen," the order said.

"Consistent with the general heath and safety actions taken by many public officials and under the advice and authority of state public health officials, the governor of the state of Illinois has ordered that on premises consumption cease at establishments serving food and beverages."

Poopy's will continue to offer curbside service, carry-out and delivery, as is allowed.

"No consumption of food or alcohol can be consumed on the property. You must leave the property with your products to consume," Promenschenkel wrote.

"Thank you to all of the customers who supported us."

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