New York has suspended liquor licenses for 38 more downstate bars after finding what it labeled "egregious violations" of COVID-19 pandemic-related executive orders.
Thirty-seven of the establishments are in the five boroughs, and one is on Long Island: Elliot's at 23 Woodcleft Avenue in Freeport.
Over the last week, the state's multi-agency task force — led by the State Police and State Liquor Authority — has conducted 6,887 compliance checks, issuing violations at 162 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.
The locations of the 38 establishments are as follows:
- Bronx - 7
- Brooklyn - 6
- Manhattan - 12
- Queens - 10
- Staten Island - 2
- Nassau - 1
Investigators with the state's multi-agency task force observed multiple patrons at Elliot's on Long Island at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, walking around and drinking at an outside bar, kitchen staff without facial coverings, and management serving patrons alcohol without food, the state said.
"After initially attempting to pass off falsified receipts with food orders, the manager admitted he had fabricated them and that the venue was running a bar service," the state said. "Despite being caught with multiple violations earlier that evening, the premises continued to operate and when investigators returned two hours later, they found approximately 100 patrons crammed into the location.
"Investigators contacted the Freeport Police Department and, when police arrived, they found sixty-nine patrons standing shoulder to shoulder at the crowded outside bar, drinking and ignoring social distancing."
"Thanks to New Yorkers' hard work, we have achieved — and maintained — one of the lowest infection rates in the country, but now is not the time to let our guard down," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "We will not allow a handful of bad actors or reckless businesses to halt or reverse New York's progress.
"This is about enforcement, and while state investigators are working tirelessly to enforce compliance, local governments must step up and do their jobs."
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