The Big Board restaurant reopens after being shut down for violating DC’s COVID mandates

The Big Board restaurant in Northeast D.C. reopened on Friday after being shut down for nearly two months and refusing to enforce the District’s mask and vaccine mandates.

The bar and restaurant at 4th and H Street NE announced its reopening on Twitter Friday afternoon.

In late January, the Big Board had its liquor license suspended and owner Eric Flannery was forced to close the H Street restaurant down after repeatedly violating the District’s emergency public health regulations.

In the weeks prior, Big Board owner Eric Flannery had received warnings — and fines — from DC Health for not checking the vaccination status of customers, which was required by law at the time.

The restaurant had also received several warnings for its failure to require face masks indoors for both its customers and employees.

According to DC Health, on Jan. 14, The Big Board was issued a verbal warning by an ABRA inspector for not requiring face masks for its employees. Between Jan. 15 and 20, returning inspectors found that the restaurant was not requiring its customers to show proof of vaccination, as was required at the time.

Flannery repeatedly told investigators that the establishment would not comply with the vaccination requirements. The bar received repeated warnings and citations totaling $2,000 by the end of January.

On Jan. 28, The Big Board had its alcoholic beverage license suspended for violating the city’s emergency public health regulations.

Since the suspension took place, Flannery raised nearly $35,000 from a Go Fund Me campaign to help with legal fees and fight vaccine mandates in D.C., “a place where no one else will stand up to the tyranny,” the fundraising site stated.


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Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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