New York State officials shut down 36 bars and restaurants, including three from the Mid-Hudson Region for alleged COVID-19 violations.

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On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state has suspended liquor licenses for 36 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 279.

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.

Seven establishments' liquor licenses were suspended for illegally operating in state-designated micro-cluster zones, which are subject to stronger restrictions due to increased COVID spread in the community, officials say.

The State Liquor Authority continues enforcement efforts statewide, with a specific focus on areas with dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases, including state-designated micro-cluster zones.

A county-by-county breakdown of the 36 establishments issued emergency orders of summary suspension from the State Liquor Authority Board is below:

In New York City:

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

Outside of New York City:

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

Below are the establishments that lost its liquor licenses and the alleged reasons from the SLA:

Plush 101” at 53 Westchester Square in the Bronx, on December 6, 2020
On December 5th, following community complaints, investigators with the state's multiagency task force and NYPD officers conducted an inspection of the premises. Despite finding the establishment's front roll-down gate closed in an attempt to conceal their operations, investigators were able to enter through a side door. Inside, investigators documented the bar in full operation nearly an hour past the mandatory 10:00 PM statewide closing time implemented to combat COVID, with 51 patrons crowded into a space that has a maximum occupancy of just 18 under COVID-related regulations. Investigators observed numerous patrons standing and mingling without facial coverings, patrons smoking hookah, and at least four employees without facial
coverings. In addition, there was no evidence of any food being served.

“Paper Rain” at 2770 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, on December 4, 2020
On December 1st, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force and NYPD
officers conducted an inspection of the premises based on advertisements that the bar
was hosting a "stripper party" from 6:00 PM to midnight, which would violate the
mandatory 10:00 PM statewide closing time implemented to combat COVID. After
finding the front door locked, investigators gained entry and observed exotic dancers
performing lap dances -- a violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders and the
establishment's liquor license, which does not permit adult entertainment. Investigators
additionally documented six patrons ignoring social distancing while standing and
drinking without facial coverings, a dancer standing and drinking at the bar, two kitchen
employees without facial coverings, and a host of fire and life safety violations.

“Crystals Restaurant and Bistro” at 9911 39th Avenue in Queens, on December 4,
2020
On December 3rd, an SLA investigator inspected the establishment and documented
multiple violations, including the manager working behind the bar without a facial
covering and patron without a facial covering standing and drinking at the bar. In
addition, the business -- which is licensed as a restaurant -- was not serving food, with
the investigator finding the kitchen non-operational in flagrant violation of both existing
Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and the food requirement guidelines implemented to
prevent bar-like congregation that has led to spikes of COVID-19 cases in other states.

“NY Pizza Café & Spanish Food Restaurant” at 1485 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn,
on November 29, 2020
On November 28th, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force and NYPD
officers conducted surveillance on the premises, finding the establishment attempting to
conceal their operations by locking the front roll-down gate. At approximately 10:30 PM,
the inspection team gained entry to the premises, finding twenty patrons inside sitting at
tables, standing at the bar without facemasks, and drinking alcohol -- all in violation of
the statewide curfew on on-premises service. Additionally, the owner was not wearing
facial covering and could not produce any receipts for food, as required. This licensee is
a repeat offender -- their license was previously suspended on August 23rd for
egregious violations of COVID-related regulations and reinstated after the licensee paid
a $10,000 fine.

“Just Karaoke” at 157-16 Northern Boulevard in Queens, on November 29, 2020
On November 27th, NYPD officers found the bar -- which was operating in a “Yellow
Zone” area -- open past the statewide 10:00 PM curfew for on-premises operations, with
32 patrons inside, nearly twice the permitted occupancy under COVID-related
regulations. Officers documented eight karaoke rooms occupied, including one room
with twelve patrons at a single table. Both the licensee and the manager were not
wearing facial coverings, with the manager admitting there was no food available for
sale, in violation of existing Alcoholic Beverage Control law and COVID-related
Executive Orders. The NYPD report previously finding approximately 31 patrons inside
the premises on November 24th, with no food being served and numerous patrons
observed without facial coverings.

“Tavern 157” at 157-12 Northern Boulevard in Queens, on November 29, 2020
On November 27th, an SLA investigator inspected the premises, which was operating in
a “Yellow Zone” area, at 11:20 PM, finding the business operating well past the
statewide 10:00 PM curfew for on-premises operations. The investigator documented
24 patrons inside the establishment, exceeding the maximum occupancy requirements
under COVID-related regulations. In addition, five employees were not wearing facial
coverings, tables were not properly spaced, and more than four patrons were seated at
tables, a violation of the state's micro-cluster rules for "Yellow Zones." The licensee was
also charged with "availing" their liquor license by allowing a person not approved by
the SLA to own or operate the premises. Finally, the investigator found bottles of tequila
and whiskey behind the bar, even though the location is only licensed to sell beer and
wine.

“Mac’s Public House” at 130 Lincoln Avenue on Staten Island, on November 27,
2020
On November 25th, an SLA Investigator conducting an inspection was refused entry to
the premises, operating in an "Orange Zone" area, a serious violation of the law that
undermines public safety. Despite being denied entry, the investigator documented five
patrons dining inside the establishment, in direct violation of "Orange Zone" regulations
which prohibit indoor service in order to protect New Yorkers during a dangerous
increase in COVID cases.

“Déjà Vu Sports Bar” at 297 Port Richmond Avenue on Staten Island, on
November 24, 2020
The NYPD report an inspection on November 8th found the premises attempting to
conceal their operations by locking the front roll-down gate in an effort to appear closed.
Officers gained entry through a side door at approximately 12:15 AM, documenting
approximately 40 patrons inside -- more than double the maximum occupancy under
COVID-related regulations. In addition, the premises was operating in violation of the
statewide 10:00 PM curfew for on-premises service. On November 21st, an SLA
investigator conducting a follow-up inspection found the premises -- then operating in a
“Yellow Zone” area -- again violating maximum occupancy requirements. The SLA
investigator also observed patrons standing and drinking, four employees without facial
coverings, and tables improperly spaced.
“El Paraiso Lounge” at 236 Port Richmond Avenue on Staten Island, on
November 24, 2020
On November 21st, an SLA investigator inspected the premises, finding patrons without
facial coverings ignoring social distancing protocols, including six who were standing
and drinking at the bar and two who were dancing. In addition, the owner, bartender and
a cook were not wearing facial coverings. The business was issued a warning by the
SLA in mid-November following reports by the NYPD that the premises violated
maximum occupancy and social distancing requirements on October 18th and 24th.

“Recuerdos Mexicanos” at 232 Port Richmond Avenue on Staten Island, on
November 24, 2020
On November 21st, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force and NYPD
officers found the bar, operating in a “Yellow Zone” area, open past the statewide 10:00
PM curfew for on-premises operations. Despite the licensee's attempt to conceal their
illegal operations by locking the premise's roll-down gate, investigators gained entrance
and documented 26 patrons inside -- including two who were playing pool without facial
coverings, five who were standing at the bar without facial coverings, and four who were
inside a tent illegally erected behind the establishment. In addition, three employees
were not wearing facial coverings and two tables had more than four patrons, the
maximum allowed per table under "Yellow Zone" rules designed to stop the spread of
COVID.

“Rockwell’s Bar & Grill” at 60 Terry Road in Smithtown, on November 22, 2020
On November 20th, 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. This establishment is a repeat offender, with charges brought by the SLA just two weeks earlier on November 5th for violating COVID-related Executive Orders.

“Station Pub” at 3 Lakeland Avenue in Sayville, on November 22, 2020
On November 20th, 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. 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. Photos taken by investigators following the visit
showed the premises in full operation after the mandatory 10:00 PM statewide closing
time implemented to combat COVID. This establishment is a repeat offender, with
charges brought by the SLA on November 6th for violating COVID-related Executive
Orders.

“Slate” at 54 West 21st Street in Manhattan, on November 22, 2020
On November 19th, an SLA investigator entered the premises and observed 15 patrons
without facial coverings drinking, standing, and walking around freely. Four patrons
were playing pool, two were playing ping pong and two were dancing -- despite
restrictions on ancillary activities like this that risk spreading COVID. In addition, the
establishment was hosting a private party that was contracted to end at 10:30 PM, in
violation of the mandatory 10:00 PM statewide closing time implemented to combat
COVID.

“Uncle Chop Chop” at 7 Cornelia Street in Manhattan, on November 22, 2020
On November 14th, NYPD officers conducted an inspection, finding patrons drinking
without food and a bartender without a facial covering. The owner, who was present
during the inspection, told police he would not abide by Executive Orders in the future.
On November 19th, an SLA investigator conducted a follow-up visit, finding the
establishment operating after the mandatory 10:00 PM statewide closing time. During
this inspection, two patrons were observed drinking at what was later discovered to be
an illegal unlimited drink special. This establishment is a repeat offender, with charges
brought by the SLA in August for Executive Order violations.

“Clinton Bar & Grill” at 2460 Clinton Street in West Seneca, on November 20,
2020
On November 18th, SLA investigators conducted surveillance of the premises,
observing multiple cars park at and patrons enter, despite the fact the establishment's
lights were off in an apparent attempt to appear be closed. When investigators entered,
they found approximately 20 patrons crowded around the bar drinking, standing, and
mingling well after the mandatory 10:00 PM statewide closing time implemented to
combat COVID.

“Cabo Sports Bar & Mexican Grill” at 271-11 Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park,
on November 20, 2020
On November 18th, 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. Before exiting, the investigator warned the owner about
the violations and ensured the licensee was aware of the mandatory 10:00 PM
statewide closing time. However, when the investigator returned at 10:30 PM, the
premises was still operating, with patrons drinking, congregating and smoking hookah
inside.

“CJ’s Bar and Lounge” at 137-09 Cross Bay Boulevard in Queens, on November
18, 2020
On November 17th, an SLA investigator and NYPD officers entered the premises and
were able to purchase drinks without food, in violation of COVID-related Executive
Orders. In addition, they observed four other patrons drinking without food. Investigators
left the premises at approximately 10:20 PM, noting six patrons remaining inside the
after the mandatory 10:00 PM statewide closing time. This licensee is a repeat offender
-- their liquor license was previously suspended on July 25th for egregious violations
and reinstated after the licensee paid a $35,000 fine.

“Best Pizza and Dive Bar” at 2095 Montauk Highway in Amagansett, on November
18, 2020
On November 15th, 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. 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.

“Agua Azul Deli Grocery” at 35 Sherman Avenue in Manhattan, on November 18,
2020
On November 15th, an SLA investigator and NYPD officers entered the premises and
found six patrons drinking alcoholic beverages inside the licensed grocery store, which
is not permitted to serve alcohol for on-premises consumption at all. All but one of the
patrons were not wearing facial coverings, with investigators noting two employees and
a cook were also not wearing facial coverings. Additionally, NYPD officers discovered
the store was illegally selling prescription drugs, and the SLA investigator found an open bottle of hard liquor, even though the establishment's license only authorizes the sale of beer, along with two illegal gambling devices.

“The Cowboy” at 45 West Chippewa in Buffalo, on November 13, 2020
On November 8th, the Erie County Department of Health and the Erie County Sheriff’s
Office conducted an inspection of the crowded premises, finding approximately 30
patrons in a nightclub-like atmosphere with a DJ and patrons standing, drinking and
mingling without facial coverings. Erie County DOH report previously visiting the
premises on August 21st and issuing a warning regarding employees without facial
coverings.

“Bachata” at 214 Fulton Avenue in Hempstead, on November 8, 2020
On November 6th, 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 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.

“Café Serata” at 1808 Hone Avenue in the Bronx, on November 6, 2020
On November 6th, SLA investigators conducted an inspection of the premises, finding
employees without facial coverings and alcohol being served without food, in violation of
COVID-related rules implemented to prevent bar-like congregation that has led to
COVID spikes in other states. This establishment is a repeat offender -- their liquor
license was previously suspended on April 1, 2020 after egregious violations of COVIDrelated regulations continued following repeated warnings. Their license was reinstated earlier this year after the licensee agreed to pay a $35,000 fine and abide by all Executive Orders.

“The Monarch” at 23 Meadow Street in Brooklyn, on November 6, 2020
On October 31st, the New York City Sheriff’s Office conducted surveillance of the
premises, observing approximately 150 people dressed in costumes enter the
establishment. At approximately 1:00 AM, Sheriff deputies entered the premises and
found nearly 400 patrons dancing, standing, and drinking, with no regard for social
distancing and few wearing facial coverings.

“Big Shots Kennedy Grill” at 674 Route 394 in Kennedy, on November 4, 2020
On October 30th, following community complaints, an SLA investigator inspected the
premises, observing approximately 20 patrons without facial coverings standing around
the bar, drinking, mingling and congregating while ignoring social distancing. The dining
area had been turned into a makeshift dance floor, with tables pushed against the wall
and patrons dancing and playing pool and darts. The investigator was also able to
purchase a drink without food from a bartender without a facial covering, noting no
evidence of food being served during the entirety of the inspection.
“Buen Ambiente” at 466B East Main Street in Patchogue, on November 4, 2020
On October 24th, 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 show 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. At approximately 1:30 AM, a large fight broke out
in the middle of the establishment -- with tables flipped and chairs thrown as patrons
raced for the exit. A patron exited the premises and returned with a handgun, shooting
two individuals who were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

“Gate Way Beer Garden” at 3162 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, on November 1, 2020
On November 1st, investigators with the SLA and NYPD officers on patrol heard music
playing inside the premises, which had garbage bags blocking the front windows in an
attempt to appear closed and avoid detection. After encountering locked front doors,
investigators entered the basement through an open hatch door and found 14 patrons
without facial coverings, standing and drinking while ignoring social distancing.
Investigators also documented an employee without a facial covering and noted no food
was being served, as the businesses’ food permit had expired.

“Larry’s Tavern” at 1862 8th Avenue in Watervliet, on November 1, 2020
On October 30th, SLA investigators observed numerous patrons standing, drinking and
walking throughout the premises without facial coverings. Investigators documented a
bartender without a facial covering and were served alcoholic beverages without
food, noting that no patrons were required to purchase food with beverages during the
entirety of the inspection.

“El Jaguar Restaurant” at 536 East 138th Street in the Bronx, on November 1,
2020
On October 30th, investigators with the SLA and NYPD officers found approximately 50
patrons inside the premises, nearly three times the legal limit under COVID-related
regulations. Those inside were standing, dancing and drinking without facial coverings
while ignoring social distancing. Investigators also documented five employees without
facial coverings, tables spaced less than six feet apart, and the premises illegally selling
hookah, including nicotine hookah which is prohibited even with a valid hookah permit.
The establishment attempted to conceal its illegal operations, including by closing the
front roll-down gate and placing a tarp over the outdoor dining structure in an effort to
appear to be closed.

“Secrets” at 24511 Francis Lewis Boulevard in Queens, on November 1, 2020
On October 29th, an SLA investigator found 30 patrons, three times the legal limit under
COVID-related regulations, inside the premises. In addition, investigators
documented two exotic dancers -- a violation of the establishment's license, which does
not permit adult entertainment -- and found neither records of food service nor a food
preparation area or kitchen. The premises had been illegally expanded into the
building's backyard without SLA approval or a Certificate of Occupancy. The licensee
had previously been fined $20,000 in 2019 for a host of violations, including illegally
operating as a strip club.

“Margarita’s Restaurant & Lounge” at 332-334 South Broadway in Yonkers, on
October 30, 2020
On October 25th, officers with the Yonkers Police Department inspected the
premises shortly after midnight and found over 100 patrons crowded inside -- nearly
double the maximum occupancy allowed under COVID-related regulations -- not
wearing facial coverings, dancing, and smoking hookah. Officers also found a DJ
performing, with music audible a block away. The following evening, SLA investigators
conducted a follow-up inspection, once again finding a DJ, two employees not wearing
facial coverings, and ten patrons not wearing facial coverings while standing and
mingling.

“Sahara Café” at 473 South Broadway in Yonkers, on October 28, 2020
On October 25th, SLA investigators and officials with the Yonkers Fire Department
conducted a compliance check on the premises, discovering 124 patrons packed
shoulder-to-shoulder inside the establishment -- which had a pre-pandemic maximum
occupancy of 48 and could legally hold just 24 patrons under COVID-related
regulations. The crowded conditions made social distancing impossible and
investigators documented no food being served and numerous patrons smoking hookah
in apparent violation of the NYS Indoor Smoking Act. The premises was also cited for
illegally expanding into their backyard and the Yonkers Fire Department issued a stop
work order. Sahara Café was originally licensed just two months earlier on August 24,
2020.

“Charley’s Lounge” at 272 Harry L Drive in Johnson City, on October 28, 2020
On October 22nd, officers with the Johnson City Police Department conducted a
compliance check at the premises, finding over 30 patrons without facial coverings
inside the bar standing, mingling and playing pool. Officers report no food was being
served, a violation of Executive Orders, and documented a bartender without a facial
covering. The licensee is a repeat offender, previously receiving a warning from police
on October 8th about Executive Order violations and being charged with multiple
COVID-related violations by the SLA on October 14th following a referral from the
Johnson City Police Department.

“Green Kitchen” at 1619 2nd Avenue in Manhattan, on October 25, 2020
On October 22nd, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force observed eight
patrons without facial coverings ignoring social distancing while standing in front of the
premises. Staff from the bar, many not wearing facial coverings themselves, continued
to serve after the 11:00 PM mandatory closure time for outdoor service in New York
City. The licensee had received multiple prior warnings from law enforcement regarding
Executive Order violations, including from the NYPD, NYC Sherriff’s Office and the SLA.
The location is a repeat offender, with pending charges for multiple violations issued by
the SLA in July.

“Uptown Bar & Grill” at 623 South Broadway in Yonkers, on October 25, 2020
On October 17th, officers with the Yonkers Police Department conducted a compliance
check of the premises, finding 168 patrons crowded inside the establishment, which had
a maximum capacity of 88 before the pandemic and could legally hold 44 patrons under
COVID-related regulations. Police report that the number of patrons inside made social
distancing impossible and numerous patrons without facial coverings were mingling,
dancing and drinking. Officers noted no food was being served, documented several
employees without facial coverings, and observed several individuals smoking hookah
throughout the premises. The location is a repeat offender, with pending charges for
multiple violations issued by the SLA a month earlier.

“Grand Slam KTV” at 131-01 Fowler Avenue in Queens, on October 23, 2020
On October 22nd, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force and NYPD
officers heard extremely loud music coming from the premises, which was operating in
a “Yellow Zone” area. When investigators entered, they found five patrons and the
manager inside a karaoke room sitting at a table, despite "Yellow Zone" restrictions
allowing no more than four patrons per table. They observed cocaine, ketamine, crystal
meth and marijuana in plain view at the establishment, and three individuals, including
the manager, were arrested and charged with criminal nuisance and disorderly
premises.

“CSJ 149” at 149-14 41st Avenue in Queens, on October 23, 2020
On October 22nd, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force conducted an
inspection at the premises, which was operating in a “Yellow Zone” area, and observed
eight patrons sitting at the bar and a group of ten patrons at a table inside a karaoke
room -- all in violation of "Yellow Zone" restrictions which allow no more than four
patrons per table. In addition, four employees were observed without facial coverings.
The SLA has also received reports from the NYPD that the bar’s manager assaulted a
patron on October 20th, in addition to NYPD reports of COVID-related violations on
September 2nd and on October 17th and 20th.

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