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CMPD Cites Charlotte Sushi Restaurant For Violating Coronavirus Restrictions

A screengrab of a public Instagram video shared by WBTV shows people dancing at Nikko in South End on Friday night.
A screengrab of a public Instagram video shared by WBTV shows people dancing at Nikko in South End last week.

A Charlotte sushi restaurant has been cited for violating the state’s coronavirus restrictions. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said on Friday that its ABC Unit issued a citation to Nikko Japanese Restaurant in South End on Wednesday.

CMPD Deputy Chief Jeff Estes said the restaurant was closed on Thursday night of its own volition and that CMPD did not order Nikko to close. A spokesman for the police department said in an email on Friday that the agency has also notified state ABC representatives of the violation.

Videos recorded over the weekend showed crowds of people dancing inside the restaurant with few people wearing masks.

Around the same time, there was a family party at Nikko that resulted in at least four coronavirus cases, according to Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris.

“They had a separate room. I think this occurred before the initial video that was sent out. It was like the night before, but it was a very busy night,” Harris said at a press conference Friday.

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday issued a warning letter to the restaurant’s owner, James Nix.

The letter said the state public health agency had “been made aware of complaints regarding non-compliance” with the face covering and social distancing requirements of Gov. Roy Cooper’s most recent executive order. It asked Nix to sign a form attesting that the restaurant will come into compliance and warned that continued violation of the governor’s order could lead to further action, including a local order to temporarily close the business.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.