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Martinsville restaurant closed by VDH, surrenders liquor license after fatal shooting



MARTINSVILLE, VA – A Martinsville restaurant has surrendered its liquor license following the shooting that left two men dead Friday night.


According to Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control, El Norteño Mexican Restaurant surrendered its license voluntarily and permanently on Saturday.


This came after an initial investigation by ABC’s Bureau of Law Enforcement of the shooting.


“This means this establishment can no longer purchase or sell alcoholic beverages. By signing the License Surrender Agreement, El Norteño knowingly and voluntarily waived its right to a hearing in accordance with the Code of Virginia,” the statement reads.


Additionally, the Virginia Department of Health has suspended the restaurant’s right to operate until further notice.


VDH says the suspension is not connected to the shooting, but to an investigation over COVID-19 safety protocols.


“The West Piedmont Health Department subsequently suspended the restaurant's license based on documented face mask violations,” said Nancy Bell, spokesperson for the district.


According to Bell, an environmental health team member was inspecting every restaurant in the area Friday night for mask enforcement.


Bell said it was coincidental that the inspector made it to El Norteño right after the shooting.


The restaurant won’t be allowed to reopen until management provides a plan to enforce COVID-19 safety guidelines.


VDH says the restaurant has had numerous complaints and two warnings.



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