Governor Cuomo Announces Suspension of 12 New York City Bars’ Liquor Licenses for Egregious Violations of Coronavirus-Related Regulations – ny.gov

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the state has suspended liquor licenses for 12 New York City bars after finding egregious violations of pandemic-related Executive Orders. Over the weekend, the state’s multi-agency task force, led by the State Police and State Liquor Authority, conducted over 1,300 compliance checks, documenting violations at 132 establishments. An additional 644 compliance checks were completed Monday night, with investigators observing 26 violations in New York City. 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. 

“New Yorkers have worked hard to flatten the curve, but the bars and restaurants that ignore public health guidance are disrespecting their sacrifices which have saved lives while allowing us to sustain the reopening of our economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “Local governments must enforce the law, but the task force has stepped up its efforts and with these additional suspensions we are sending a clear message that the State will not hesitate to take action against businesses that put New Yorkers’ health and safety at risk.” 

State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradley said: “The SLA will continue to immediately suspend licensees who jeopardize lives by flagrantly violating the Governor’s Executive Orders. Our communities, as well as the majority of restaurant and bar owners and staff, have endured great sacrifices to bend the curve, and the SLA will not hesitate to take immediate action against those who threaten the progress our state has made.” 

The 12 establishments issued emergency orders of summary suspension from the State Liquor Authority Board during meetings on July 25th, 26th, and 27th are:

“Lima” at 85-07 Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, on July 25, 2020

Following numerous complaints and previous charges, the SLA conducted a compliance check of “Lima” on July 24th. Investigators observed over twenty patrons outside the premises standing and drinking in a nightclub-on-the-street atmosphere, ignoring social distancing guidelines and blocking the sidewalk. Previously, on July 18th, SLA investigators documented the premises operating well past New York City’s 11 p.m. curfew for outside service, with a similarly large group of patrons standing and congregating in a nightclub-like-atmosphere, without facial coverings or adherence to social distancing guidelines. This location had also been observed and charged with violations of the Governor’s Executive Orders in June.

“CJ’s Bar and Lounge” 139-09 Crossbay Boulevard in Ozone Park, on July 25, 2020       

The licensee’s non-compliance began on June 27th, when SLA Investigators documented five patrons drinking inside the premises, along with outdoor tables not properly spaced and with a party-like atmosphere that extended in front of a neighboring building. On July 18th, during a disclosed visit, investigators documented employees without facial coverings serving patrons and provided the licensee with a summary of SLA guidelines. The next evening, SLA investigators made an undercover visit to the establishment, observing thirty patrons partying and congregating directly in front of the premises, without facial coverings or social distancing. 

“RubiRosa” at 8407 Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, on July 26, 2020

On July 24th, SLA Investigators conducted a compliance check of “Rubi Rosa,” observing approximately twenty-five individuals standing in front of the location consuming beverages, ignoring social distancing protocols, and not wearing facial coverings. An employee inside was observed without a facial covering speaking with patrons who were also not wearing facial coverings. This location was also found to be in violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders on July 18th, with patrons similarly congregating outside. 

“Mr Pancho’s Café” at 86-09 Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, on July 26, 2020

On July 25th, SLA Investigators conducted a compliance check of “Mr Pancho’s Café” and found the restaurant in full operation well past New York City’s 11 p.m. curfew for outside service, with over thirty individuals standing in front of the premise consuming beverages, no food available, no proper facial coverings, and no social distancing. In addition, at least three employees were observed without facial coverings.  

“Blue Angel Lounge” at 112-51 Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, on July 26, 2020

On July 25th, SLA Investigators conducted a compliance check of the “Blue Angel Lounge,” observing patrons consuming alcohol with no food present. An inspection of the kitchen suggests the restaurant was in violations of the food requirement for some time, evidenced by a rusty grill, deep fryers with no oil, an empty refrigerator, an empty food serving station, the gas to appliances turned off, and no kitchen staff on site.  This location was also found to be in violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders on July 18th, with twenty-five people drinking inside.  

“De La Mora Restaurant” at 84-19 Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, on July 26, 2020 

On the evening of July 18th, an SLA investigator observed patrons standing, drinking and congregating directly in front of the premises, without facial coverings or observing social distancing. The investigator returned shortly before midnight — well past New York City’s 11 p.m. curfew for outside service — to find thirty patrons drinking and partying in violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders. This location was previously charged by the SLA on for violations of the Governor’s EO on July 13th and 14th. 

“El Patio Bar” at 218-21 Jamaica Boulevard in Jackson Heights, on July 26, 2020

On July 25th, SLA Investigators conducted a compliance check of “El Patio Bar,” observing patrons inside the bar drinking, in addition to bartenders and kitchen staff without facial coverings. Previously, on July 18th, SLA investigators documented the premises operating well past New York City’s 11 p.m. curfew for outside service, with a large group of patrons standing and congregating in a nightclub-like-atmosphere without facial coverings or social distancing.  

“The Grand” at 37-01 30th Avenue in Astoria, on July 27, 2020  

On July 23rd, a joint inspection with SLA investigators and the New York City Sheriff’s Office found the premises operating well past New York City’s 11 p.m. curfew, with at least a dozen patrons directly in front of the premises, and no facial coverings or social distancing. Inside, the inspection detail observed a patron drinking alcohol and an employee without a facial covering. When the inspection detail arrived, a bouncer was observed encouraging patrons to leave the premises with open containers.

“El Paisa Café” at 87-05 Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, on July 27, 2020 

On the evening of July 18th, an SLA investigator observed eleven patrons standing, drinking and congregating directly in front of the premises, without facial coverings or social distancing. The investigator returned at 11:30 p.m., well past New York City’s 11 p.m. curfew for outside service, to find twenty-five patrons — none wearing facial coverings — drinking and congregating in front of the business in violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders.

“Romanticos” at 76-07 Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, on July 27, 2020

On July 23rd, an SLA investigator conducted a compliance check of “Romanticos,” finding thirteen patrons drinking alcohol inside the bar and a manager and bouncer without facial coverings. The business, a repeat offender, was found violating the Governor’s Executive Order requiring bars and restaurants adhere to social distancing guidelines to combat the spread of the coronavirus on two prior occasions. 

“Delicia’s Mexicanas” at 102-14 Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, on July 27, 2020

On July 25th, an SLA investigator conducted a compliance check of “Delicia’s Mexicanas,” finding patrons seated inside the premises, with the manager blocking the path of the investigator while a waitress warned patrons to leave out the back door. This licensee is a repeat offender, with violations of the Governor’s Executive Orders and serving after New York City’s 11 p.m. curfew for outside service on July 24th and July 4th.         

“The Pomeroy” at 36-12 Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, on July 27, 2020

On July 23, an SLA investigator conducted a compliance check of “The Pomeroy,” observing a group of over fifteen patrons standing and congregating in front of the restaurant and stretching out in front of a neighboring business. This check was a follow up from July 19th, when SLA investigators observed employees not wearing facial coverings, tables improperly spaced, and the restaurant serving drinks to go without food.    

The emergency suspensions were ordered by Commissioner Lily Fan and Commissioner Greeley Ford at special meetings of the Full Board, conducted by a digitally recorded video under social distancing guidelines, on July 25, 2020, on July 26, 2020 and on July 27. 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 a SLA Administrative Law Judge.