The Buckeye Institute Demands D.C. Allow The Big Board to Re-Open

Feb 22, 2022

Columbus, OH – On Friday, The Buckeye Institute sent a demand letter to the District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) insisting that the suspension of Eric Flannery’s operating license be reversed and that Mr. Flannery be allowed to re-open his bar and restaurant, The Big Board, immediately. The letter requests a response from the city by Wednesday, February 23.

The Buckeye Institute represents Eric Flannery, a Navy veteran who is co-owner of The Big Board—one of D.C.’s top burger spots—in his case against the District of Columbia, which suspended Mr. Flannery’s liquor and operating licenses because he welcomed all customers regardless of vaccination status and refused to enforce the city’s mask mandates that allow guests seated and drinking on one side of the bar to forgo masks while employees standing on the other side of the same bar must wear masks. Ironically, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the end of D.C.’s mandates on the same day D.C. issued an order sustaining the suspension of Mr. Flannery’s licenses.

“Mr. Flannery wants to get back to doing what he does best—serving great burgers in the city he loves,” said Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute and the lawyer representing Mr. Flannery. “We are demanding that D.C. come to its senses and reinstate Mr. Flannery’s licenses so he and his employees can get back to work. If D.C. fails to do so, we will have to proceed with legal action seeking financial damages, attorney’s fees, as well as injunctive and other compensatory relief.”

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