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COVID-19: Liquor Licenses Of Six Long Island Restaurants Suspended For Guideline Violations

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COVID-19 Photo Credit: Pixabay/fernandozhiminaicela

New York State authorities have suspended liquor licenses for 37 more businesses, including six on Long Island, after finding what it labeled violations of COVID-19 pandemic-related executive orders. 

These new suspensions bring the total number of liquor licenses suspended during the coronavirus pandemic to 279, the state announced on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

In total, 1,867 charges have been filed against bars and restaurants for violating coronavirus-related rules. 

Businesses found in violation of these 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 establishments, all restaurants/bars in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and upstate New York, are as follows:

Outside of New York City:

  • Nassau - 2
  • Suffolk - 4
  • Westchester - 3
  • Albany - 1
  • Broome - 1
  • Chautauqua - 1
  • Erie - 2

In New York City:

  • Bronx - 3
  • Brooklyn - 4
  • Manhattan - 4
  • Queens - 8
  • Staten Island - 4

The Long Island establishments cited were:

Rockwell’s Bar & Grill at 60 Terry Road in Smithtown: On Friday, Nov. 20, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force observed two patrons without facial coverings standing outside the premises drinking. Investigators then entered the packed bar, documenting 54 patrons inside, including numerous patrons who were standing, drinking, and walking throughout the premises without facial coverings, the State Liquor Authority said. 

The establishment is a repeat offender, with charges brought by the SLA just two weeks earlier on Thursday, Nov. 5 for violating COVID-related Executive Orders, the SLA said.

Station Pub at 3 Lakeland Avenue in Sayville: On Friday, Nov. 20, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force observed 32 patrons inside the premises completely ignoring social distancing protocols, with patrons freely walking throughout the establishment without facial coverings, no evidence of food being served, and a bartender not wearing a facial covering, said the SLA. 

The owner refused to wear a facemask and became belligerent with investigators, refusing to provide the establishment's liquor license or his ID -- both serious violations, independent of COVID-related rules, said the SLA. 

Photos taken by investigators following the visit showed the premises in full operation after the mandatory 10 p.m. statewide closing time implemented to combat COVID. 

The establishment is a repeat offender, with charges brought by the SLA on Friday, Nov. 6 for violating COVID-related Executive Orders.

Cabo Sports Bar & Mexican Grill at 271-11 Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park: On Wednesday, Nov. 18, an SLA investigator conducting an inspection observed 43 patrons crowded inside the premises -- despite the establishment having a maximum occupancy of just 25 under COVID-related regulations -- and documented numerous patrons and employees without facial coverings, tables improperly spaced, and a complete disregard for social distancing protocols, the SLA said. 

Before exiting, the investigator warned the owner about the violations and ensured the licensee was aware of the mandatory 10 p.m. statewide closing time, the SLA said. However, when the investigator returned at 10:30 p.m., the premises was still operating, with patrons drinking, congregating and smoking hookah inside, said the SLA.

Best Pizza and Dive Bar at 2095 Montauk Highway in Amagansett: On Sunday, Nov. 15, plainclothes officers from the East Hampton Town Police Department entered the establishment and observed approximately 20 patrons seated at and standing around the crowded bar, mingling, ignoring social distancing, and not wearing facial coverings, said the SLA. 

Officers ordered and were served alcoholic beverages without food, a violation of COVID-related Executive Orders, and documented no food being served during the entirety of their inspection. 

Bartenders also continually removed their facial coverings to talk to patrons. This establishment is a repeat offender, with charges brought by the SLA just days earlier for Executive Order violations based on a referral from the East Hampton Town Police Department. 

Bachata at 214 Fulton Avenue in Hempstead: On Friday, Nov. 6, during a joint inspection with SLA Investigators, the Hempstead Police Department and the Nassau County Fire Marshalls Office discovered 71 patrons packed inside the premises, despite a maximum occupancy of just 44 under COVIDrelated regulations, the SLA said. 

The inspection team found patrons crowded around the bar, dancing, playing pool, and ignoring social distancing throughout the premises. 

Additionally, three employees were observed working without facial coverings and no food of any kind was observed being served. 

Buen Ambiente at 466B East Main Street in Patchogue: On Saturday, Oct. 24, officers from the Suffolk County Police Department responded to a call of shots fired at the premises. 

Video surveillance obtained by police during their investigation shows that the establishment was hosting a large event with over 50 patrons standing shoulder-to-shoulder, drinking, dancing, and smoking hookah, with two exotic dancers performing lap dances, the SLA said. 

At approximately 1:30 a.m., a large fight broke out in the middle of the establishment -- with tables flipped and chairs thrown as patrons raced for the exit, the SLA noted. 

A patron exited the premises and returned with a handgun, shooting two individuals who were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

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