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Four More Queens Bars Slapped with Liquor License Suspensions as State Continues COVID Crackdown

Gov. Cuomo at a press briefing Monday (Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

Aug. 4, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Four additional Queens bars have been slapped with liquor license suspensions as the state continues to shut down those establishments that violate COVID-19 restrictions.

Over the last few weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Liquor Authority (SLA) have cracked down on bars and restaurants that blatantly disregard the state’s social distancing rules and face covering requirements meant to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The state’s task-force led by the SLA and State Police conducted more than 3,000 compliance checks over the weekend and found coronavirus violations at 106 establishments across the Empire State.

The SLA suspended liquor licenses of 19 bars for egregious violations, including four in Queens.

Two bars in Jackson Heights, one eatery in Corona and a tavern in Astoria each had their licenses yanked over the weekend. The establishments are listed below, along with the date their license was suspended.

Brothers Taverna, at 23-01 Steinway St., in Astoria, on Aug. 2

Capelli’s Café, at 107-11 Northern Blvd. in Corona, on July 31

True Colors, at 79-15 Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights, on July 31

Yeras Restaurant and Sports Bar, at 86-09 Northern Blvd. in Jackson Heights, on July 31

SLA investigators found a variety of violations at the four establishments. They witnessed a lack of mask wearing by patrons and in some cases, employees, as well as alcohol being consumed without food and a disregard for social distancing.

A fifth Queens establishment was denied a pending liquor license by the SLA.

The rooftop cocktail bar BLVD 93 in Rego Park was denied a license after a SLA investigator found two separate parties on the rooftop with more than one hundred patrons at each, as well as alcohol being served despite not yet having a liquor license. Many patrons weren’t wearing facial coverings and were illegally smoking hookah.

The NYPD issued BLVD 93, located at 61-18 93rd St., a summons for warehousing alcoholic beverages without a permit.

The SLA has suspended the licenses of 35 establishments in the borough to date — much more than any other county in New York. Last week alone, the agency suspended the licenses of nearly 20 Queens bars.

Businesses guilty of violating a COVID-19 regulation — such as negligent mask wearing, poor social distancing or serving past 11 p.m. dining curfew — have to pay up to $10,000 per infraction. The SLA immediately suspends the liquor license of a bar or restaurant found to be particularly egregious or those with three or more violations.

Establishments that receive suspensions must stop serving alcohol immediately. The suspensions remain in effect indefinitely — though businesses are entitled to an expedited hearing before a SLA Administrative Law judge if they attempt to get it restored.

“Bars and restaurants that continue to act irresponsibly are disrespectful, engaging in illegal behavior, and not only violating public health, but they are violating common decency,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.
“Protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers remains our number one priority, and we will continue to take aggressive enforcement actions against businesses that violate the law.”
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