Bar Tabac and two other Smith Street eateries get liquor licenses pulled for pandemic violations

Bar Tabac and two other Cobble Hill eateries have had their liquor licenses suspended for flouting COVID-19-related regulations.
File photo by Lauren Gill

State officials revoked the liquor licenses of three Cobble Hill establishments — including the beloved French restaurant Bar Tabac — for violating COVID-19 regulations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday. 

Last night, our task force observed violations at 41 more establishments downstate, and today we are suspending seven bars from across the state that have flouted coronavirus-related rules,” Cuomo said at a July 30 press conference. 

Neighborhood eateries Bar Tabac, Regular Visitors, and Union Grounds — all located along Smith Street — have had their liquor licenses suspended as of July 30, state records show.

Authorities say that investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed seven Bar Tabac employees not wearing face coverings outside the Smith Street eatery on the corner of Dean Street on July 24, including the restaurant’s manager, a bartender, the host, and four members of the kitchen staff.

That same day, investigators saw about 20 patrons drinking wine without any accompanying food outside Regular Visitors, a cafe and home goods store located on the corner of Smith and Bergen streets, prompting the state to revoke the establishment’s wine license. 

Customers outside Union Grounds, a Smith Street sports bar between Sackett and Degraw streets, were also observed not eating food with their drinks on July 24, and three staffer, including the owner, a bartender and a member of the waitstaff, were not wearing face masks. 

The recent violations bring the total number of Brooklyn liquor license suspensions up to four. In April, Prospect Heights seafood restaurant The Atlantic Boat Club, located on Atlantic Avenue by Grand Avenue, had its license suspended for violating local regulations, according to the State Liquor Authority. 

The suspensions come as the state continues to crack down on bars and eateries for flouting the state’s ever-changing coronavirus-related regulations. Bars and restaurants were allowed to open outside eating areas on June 22, but many have faced thousands of dollars in fines due to the city’s evolving outdoor dining guidelines, while others have struggled to adjust to the state’s rules, which mandate that all establishments serve food alongside alcohol and only serve seated customers. 

Violators of the state regulations are subject to up to $10,000 in fines per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a restaurant’s liquor license, the state said. 

So far, the State Liquor Authority has conducted 1,131 compliance checks and issued 55 violations, according to the agency.