Police: Salisbury bar owner served customers after ban

BRYAN EATON/Staff photoThe Dolphin Bar and Grill at Salisbury Beach.

SALISBURY – A local bar owner faces possible sanctions after police say he opened for business Friday night, defying Gov. Charlie Baker’s order that all bars and restaurants be closed to customers eating or drinking inside to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Eight customers were drinking inside the Dolphin Bar and Grill at 28 Ocean Front South about 6:45 p.m. Friday when Sgt. Richard Dellaria and police officers responded to a call made by a selectman, according to Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler.

“He was letting people in the back door,” Fowler said, referring to owner Kevin Buswell. Fowler said the front door was boarded up.

Buswell was not arrested but his actions were referred to Salisbury Health Director Jack Morris for possible disciplinary action, including a fine.

Baker closed all bars Tuesday until at least April 6 as part of sweeping measures to limit social interaction related to the highly contagious coronavirus.

Morris did not return a phone call or an email seeking comment Monday.

Fowler said it was disappointing to learn that a Salisbury business owner would disobey Baker’s order. Friday marked the first time a business owner was caught defying Baker’s order.

“I would hope citizens and business owners would comply and work together to limit this crisis as best we can,” Fowler said.

No one picked up the phone when a Daily News reporter called the Dolphin Bar and Grill for comment Monday. An email to the restaurant was not returned.

Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Newburyport Daily News. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008

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