ST. LOUIS ( -- At least two of the bars forced to shut down by the city of St. Louis over violations of public health orders are now suing the city over the closure.

Wheelhouse and Start Bar have filed the lawsuit and are being represented by attorney Scott Rosenblum. The city of St. Louis, Mayor Lyda Krewson and Health Department Director Fred Echols have all been named in the lawsuit.

The city shut down four bars/restaurants on July 28 because they “have obviously ignored" public health orders put in place to flatten the rise in COVID-19 cases, the mayor said.

The closures came after a video surfaced showing a packed crowd at a popular downtown bar. The video showed a crowd of people on the dance floor at Wheelhouse and no one was seen wearing face masks.

The lawsuit states that employees of the bars wore face coverings and required all customers to do the same while entering or leaving the premises, but when the customers were eating or drinking they were not required to wear them. The court documents also state that Mayor Krewson previously said establishments were not to act as "mask police." 

The lawsuit also claims that officials previously visited both bars and did not issue any citations or guidance indicating they were in violation. 

The city said the businesses would be closed for 14 days. The other two businesses shut down were Big Daddy’s on the Landing and Marquee Restaurant and Lounge.

We've reached out to the mayor's office and Rosenblum for comment. We have not heard back yet. 

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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