Iron Pig Smokehouse in Gaylord has food license reinstated

Will Kreznick

GAYLORD — The food license for the Iron Pig Smokehouse restaurant was reinstated, removing another obstacle preventing owner Ian Murphy from resuming operations. The restoration of the food permit by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) on Friday capped an eventful day in the three-month old legal […]

GAYLORD — The food license for the Iron Pig Smokehouse restaurant was reinstated, removing another obstacle preventing owner Ian Murphy from resuming operations.

The restoration of the food permit by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) on Friday capped an eventful day in the three-month old legal saga involving the Gaylord eatery and Murphy.

Earlier, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan dissolved a cease-and-desist order for the Iron Pig after the department and Murphy agreed on a compliance plan involving orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS).

Friday morning, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Clinton Canady III converted a temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction on the restaurant and fined Murphy a total of $1,500 for violating restraining orders issued on Jan. 27 and Feb. 4 aimed at preventing the Iron Pig from selling, advertising or distributing food and beverages.

All of this began last November when Murphy openly defied MDHHS orders banning indoor dining and requiring patrons and staff to wear masks in an effort to address a surge in coronavirus cases in Northern Michigan and the state.

Ian Murphy, owner of the Iron Pig in Gaylord.

On Nov. 25 the local health department issued its cease-and-desist order after determining the Iron Pig was operating in a manner that presented an imminent and substantial hazard to the public health.

In December, Murphy’s liquor license was and remains suspended by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for defying the state health department orders. Murphy eventually turned over the liquor license to law enforcement and stopped serving alcoholic beverages.

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