Tri-Cities restaurant racks up complaints due to controversial COVID protocols

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Sterling’s Restaurant, a well-known Tri-Cities eatery with three locations in the area, is facing dozens of complaints to state authorities due to its COVID-19 protocols.

Officials with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), said there have been 37 complaints about the Tri-Cities restaurant submitted to the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board since August 24, 2021.

This comes after viewers reached out to KAPP-KVEW about this notice posted on the Kennewick location’s doors:

Tri-Cities

The sign said:

“Anyone entering beyond this point is here for the sole purpose of enjoying our establishment and services as to customers. Our staff has been informed that they are not authorized to grant access to any L&I employee or any other state/government agent pursuant to RCW 49.17.070. The only authorized individuals to grant such access are the owners/operators of the business. All requests for entry should be directed to those authorized individuals, who can be reached at 509-628-2414.”

It’s referencing this code here that states, ” (3) the director or his or her authorized representative shall obtain consent from the owner, manager, operator, or his or her on-site person in charge of the worksite when entering any worksite located on private property to carry out his or her duties under this chapter.”

But, officials with L&I said they “can go into businesses without identifying ourselves as being from L&I.”

A viewer told KAPP-KVEW:

“Today I went to Sterling’s restaurant in Kennewick.  They had a sign on their doors prohibiting any L&I inspector on premises.  Once inside I realized why. The entire staff was unmasked, against State mandate. I however will never return.  If they are so bold to violate that rule, I cannot trust them to follow other health and safety guidelines.”

A manager with Sterling’s Restaurant declined KAPP-KVEW’s request for an interview.

RELATED: