OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Police responded to a popular restaurant and bar in Midtown after receiving several calls to 911 that social distancing measures were not in place.
“Hi, I was just calling to report a large gathering, Kong’s Oklahoma City,” a caller to 911 told dispatchers on Tuesday night. “They’re like open, full service, everything. It’s packed, packed, packed.”
Several similar calls started pouring in, according to police.
“Over capacity probably. It’s just, it’s sad that nobody’s trying here,” a man told dispatch.
“OK. It looks like we’ve had a bunch of other callers. So we’re going to send an officer out there,” the dispatcher told him.
“It’s just yeah, the place is packed and there’s no separation whatsoever,” he said.
Several social media posts with video and pictures showed a long line of people waiting to get in to Kong’s Tavern, not social distancing, and a packed patio.
“There was no social distancing. There was no masks,” Daniel France told KFOR.
France captured it on his cell phone.
“One of the servers was coughing into his hand and taking orders,” he said.
KFOR’s cameras captured the packed area hours later as well.
According to the police report, the manager told officers, “they had no security at the time and could not regulate the amount of people that had entered the building.”
The manager then told the officer, “they have the entire business set up for the social distancing proclamation that is set” and also said they were “attempting to get people out the door so that way they will be under the half capacity rule that is set in place.”
The manager told police that the tables were all seven feet apart and the area where people order drinks requires them to be six feet apart.
The officer wrote in the report, “I observed the inside of the building to not be as crowded as the outside made it look.”
The officer did not issue the business a citation.
“All those people who congregated, could anyway, bring us another spike,” Alyssa Weathers-Murphy, who lives in the area, told News 4.
When Murphy tried to question Kong’s about the packed premises, she said she got an alarming reply on Facebook.
“Why don’t you just go be mad at the governor? This is their rules,” she said, reading the Facebook comment.
KFOR stopped by Kong’s Wednesday and they were closed. The manager told News 4 over the phone that they are reevaluating some things.
The business posted this statement on their Instagram Wednesday afternoon:
“Per meeting with city officials, all patrons waiting in line must wear masks. We made a bad judgment on the patio despite following guidelines and we apologize. We will rectify the situation when we reopen Thursday. Half occupancy on the patio.”
“I don’t blame human beings for being human beings. But I blame our business owners and I blame our politicians for just pushing forward this idea that we need to get back to work when what we need to be doing is focusing on being healthy,” France told News 4.