WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From Governor Andrew M. Cuomo August 24, 2020a;
The Goverorn today announced the state has suspended liquor licenses for 14 additional bars and restaurants in New York State after finding egregious violations of pandemic-related Executive Orders, bringing the total number of liquor licenses suspended during the coronavirus pandemic to 162. This weekend, the state’s multi-agency task force — led by the State Police and State Liquor Authority — conducted 3,964 compliance checks, documenting violations at 34 establishments. Businesses found in violation of COVID-19 regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant’s liquor license.
“Over the last five months, New Yorkers have made great sacrifices to bend the curve, and today’s record-low infection rate shows that when we listen to science and take this virus seriously, we can make a difference. But too many bars and restaurants are still flouting rules in place to stop the spread and local governments need to step up — so we’ve beefed up enforcement with the state police and liquor authority to hold bad actors accountable,” Governor Cuomo said. “Now is not the time to lose sight of our goal, and if compliance slips, all of the progress we’ve made over the last five months could be undermined. These establishments put the health of their staff, their patrons, and all New Yorkers at risk — and their actions are simply unacceptable.”
State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradley said, “We are seeing better compliance as a direct result of the hard work and time the task force is putting in, but there are still bad apples out there that need to be held accountable. As we head into the last couple weekends of summer, licensees need to continue to be vigilant and put the health and safety of New Yorkers on the top of their priority lists.”
The 14 establishments issued emergency orders of summary suspension from the State Liquor Authority Board are located in New York City, the Capital Region and on Long Island.
In New York City, the geographical breakdown is:
- Brooklyn – 7
- Manhattan – 1
- Queens – 3
Outside of New York City the geographical breakdown is:
- Albany – 1
- Schenectady – 1
- Suffolk – 1
The emergency suspensions were ordered by Chairman Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan and Commissioner Greeley Ford at special meetings of the Full Board on August 19th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, conducted by a digitally recorded video under social distancing guidelines. Emergency Summary Suspensions are imposed when the SLA finds the continued operation of a licensed business threatens public health and safety. Suspension orders are served immediately and remain in effect indefinitely, with the maximum penalty including the permanent revocation of the license and fines of up to $10,000 per violation. Licensees subject to an emergency suspension are entitled to an expedited hearing before an SLA Administrative Law Judge.
The 14 bars suspended are listed below, along with information on their violations and the date of their suspensions.
“75 Main Group” at 75 Main Street in Southampton, on August 23, 2020
On August 22nd, SLA investigators and officers with the Suffolk County Police Department, the Southampton Village Police Department, and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint inspection of the premises. At approximately 6:00 pm, investigators observed a line of patrons waiting to enter the premises, ignoring social distancing, with most not wearing facial coverings. Investigators also observed two bartenders and three servers without facial coverings. Roughly an hour later, investigators returned to find multiple employees and patrons standing, mingling and drinking around the bar without facial coverings, with several patrons from nearby tables wandering up to the bar to mingle and consume shots — in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order prohibiting walk-up bar service. They also observed long lines at the restrooms without social distancing and with several patrons not wearing facial coverings. At least 27 employees were working at the time of the inspection, with none of them observed attempting to control the lines or prohibit patrons from consuming alcohol while standing near the bar. At approximately 11:00 pm, the joint inspection team entered the premises, observing two employees run to the kitchen to alert staff. Upon entering, investigators identified 25 additional violations — including serious health hazards — and four criminal court summonses issued. In addition, earlier in the evening, an 18-year-old underage agent was able to purchase alcohol on two separate occasions without being asked for identification. The business is a repeat offender, with the Village of Southampton Police documenting 75 patrons eating inside on June 13th, prior to indoor dining being allowed on Long Island, and investigators from the state taskforce observing three employees without facial coverings on July 28th. Charges from both previous incidents are pending with the SLA.
“Mark’s Grill” at 1051 Curry Road in Schenectady, on August 22, 2020
On August 21st SLA investigators found the premises to be operating a bar-only service with no dining, in direct violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders. Investigators entered the premises, observing that all fourteen bar stools were occupied, with no space between patrons, and with three additional patrons standing and drinking near the bar, all without facial coverings. Investigators ordered and were served alcoholic beverages without food from a bartender with a facial covering around her chin. Additional patrons were standing and drinking at high top tables and several patrons without facial coverings were milling about the premises.
“Andy’s Place” at 605 New Scotland Avenue in Albany, on August 22, 2020
On August 21st, SLA investigators entered the premises and found the establishment operating a bar-only service with no dining, in direct violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders. A bartender was observed without a facial covering and four patrons — also without facial coverings — were standing at the bar consuming alcohol. Investigators ordered and were served alcoholic beverages without food, noting several patrons entering and exiting the premises without facial coverings. By the time the investigators departed, seven patrons were standing and congregating around the bar without facial coverings, consuming alcohol.
“Esquina Tequila” at 40-01 Northern Boulevard in Queens, on August 23, 2020
On August 20th, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force and NYPD officers observed at least ten individuals drinking, congregating, and ignoring social distancing regulations directly in front of the premises. Only after the task force arrived did an employee attempt to confiscate drinks from the patrons outside.
“Mally’s Deli & Grocery” at 199 Knickerbocker Avenue in Brooklyn, on August 23, 2020
On August 21st, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force and NYPD officers observed numerous patrons standing and seated outside the premises, drinking alcohol without food. In addition, three patrons were found drinking inside and three employees were observed without facial coverings. Investigators also discovered brands of tequila not registered for sale in New York State being sold at the premises.
“La Fogata Restaurant & Café” at 1549 Gates Avenue in Brooklyn, on August 23, 2020
On August 22nd, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed a patron sitting outside drinking without food. Inside, investigators documented two patrons drinking and playing pool – which has been prohibited in New York City since March 16, 2020 – and a bartender without a facial covering.
“NY Pizza Café & Spanish Food Restaurant” at 1485 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, on August 23, 2020
On August 22nd, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed three patrons inside the restaurant consuming alcohol without food, two employees and the owner without facial coverings, and alcoholic beverages being sold to go without food. When questioned, the manager admitted the premises was not serving any food — in direct violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders.
“El Salvador Restaurant De Marina” at 1544 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, on August 23, 2020
On August 22nd, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed ten patrons inside the restaurant without facial coverings, consuming alcohol without food, and six other patrons drinking alcohol immediately outside the premises — all in violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders. Investigators also documented six employees without facial coverings. When the manager was told to tell the patrons to leave, she initially refused.
“La Perla Del Ulua Restaurant” 354 Melrose Street in Brooklyn, on August 22, 2020
On August 21st, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force heard excessively loud music as they approached the premises, finding an unauthorized DJ playing music in front of the establishment and at least 37 patrons standing shoulder to shoulder, drinking and dancing, effectively creating an illegal outdoor nightclub. When investigators arrived, a manager from the premises ran outside to distribute masks to patrons. Others were observed drinking inside the premises, in violation of the indoor dining restrictions in effect since March 16, 2020. All of the violations observed occurred after the NYC 11:00 p.m. curfew for outdoor dining.
“Noree Thai Bazaar” at 274 Grand Street in Manhattan, on August 21, 2020
On August 19th, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed three patrons consuming alcohol inside the premises and two employees without facial coverings, in violation of the Governors’ Executive Orders.
“Izzy’s Fried Chicken” at 262 Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn, on August 21, 2020
On August 19th, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed five patrons dining in an enclosed area that was illegally converted into an indoor space without the approval of the SLA or the NYC Department of Buildings.
“Privileged Gentleman’s Club” at 49-14 Queens Boulevard in Queens, on August 21, 2020
On August 20th, a security guard without a facial covering attempted to block investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force and NYPD officers from entering the premises. After gaining entry, investigators discovered 33 patrons inside a makeshift room constructed with a plastic tarp roof and four walls, consuming alcohol and ignoring social distancing guidelines. Investigators also documented two additional employees inside without facial coverings.
“Palm Court Restaurant & Lounge” at 171-16 Hillside Avenue in Queens, on August 19, 2020
On August 18th, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed four patrons inside the premises — two drinking alcohol and two playing pool — in violation of the Governors’ Executive Orders in place since March 16, 2020 restricting indoor service. Investigators also documented two employees without facial coverings.
“New Heights of NY” at 137 Schenectady Avenue in Brooklyn, on August 19, 2020
On August 15th, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force and NYPD officers observed two patrons standing and drinking directly in front of the premises without facial coverings. Investigators documented four additional patrons consuming alcohol inside the premises, in flagrant violation of the Governor’s Executive Order in place since March 16, 2020.