Police: Salisbury bar owner served customers inside after ban      

BRYAN EATON/Staff photo. The 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, in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Eight customers were drinking inside the Dolphin Bar and Grill at 28 Ocean Front South around 6:45 p.m. Friday when Sgt. Richard Dellaria and other 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 actions, including a fine.

Baker closed all bars on March 17 until at least April 6 as part of sweeping measures to limit social interactions related to the highly contagious coronavirus.

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

Fowler said it was disappointing to learn that a Salisbury business owner would flout 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 reporter called the Dolphin Bar and Grill for comment Monday. An email to the restaurant was not returned.

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