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St. Louis health department orders Wheelhouse, Start Bar to shut down for 2 weeks, owner files lawsuit

Wheelhouse and Start Bar were served letters ordering them to shut down on Nov. 16. The order lasts until Nov. 30

ST. LOUIS — Two popular bars in downtown St. Louis were ordered to shut down for two weeks by the city's health department for allegedly violating public health orders aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Lyda Krewson's office confirmed Saturday.

Wheelhouse and Start Bar were served letters ordering them to shut down on Nov. 16. The order lasts until Nov. 30.

In a statement posted to the Wheelhouse Instagram page, the owner said the order was issued "without due process", which he said would prove the evidence supporting the order was inaccurate. The post included a photo of a lawsuit the bars have filed asking for a judge to throw out the order.

This is not the first time the bars were ordered to close during the coronavirus pandemic.

In July, videos on the Instagram Story for an account linked to the Wheelhouse showed crowds of people inside the bar over the weekend ignoring social distancing standards and mask mandates. 5 On Your Side captured the video below from the public Instagram Story. It shows a nightclub atmosphere with a DJ playing music for a packed dance floor below him.

RELATED: Video of packed St. Louis bar prompts city to temporarily close businesses

In the days after the video, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's administration on July 27 sent notices to four bars, including Wheelhouse and Start Bar, ordering them to close for two weeks for violating public health orders requiring social distancing and mask wearing. 

RELATED: 4 St. Louis bars ordered to temporarily close after city says they violated public health orders

The owner of the bars filed a lawsuit to try to get the July closure order thrown out, but it was unsuccessful.