Crown Heights bar fined for flouting emergency shutdown orders

The Atlantic Boat Club

A Crown Heights bar is under fire for flouting social distancing guidelines numerous times, according to the State Liquor Authority, which issued an emergency suspension of the watering hole’s liquor license on April 24.

The Atlantic Boat Club, on Atlantic Avenue near Grand Avenue, had been serving patrons on three separate occasions despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order prohibiting dine-in service to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, resulting in several summonses for its owner and the suspension of the tavern’s liquor license.

“Despite repeated warnings, this licensee continued to operate in flagrant defiance of the governors directive, disregarding the health and safety of their patrons, the public, and the police,” state liquor tsar Vincent Bradley said in a statement. “We all need to continue doing everything we can slow the spread of the coronavirus and there is no excuse for violating these lifesaving protocols.”

The tavern was first issued a warning on March 15 — at which time an executive order from the governor mandated all businesses to operate at 50 percent capacity — when authorities say they observed 86 customers inside the 10-person-capacity barroom. 

The directive banning on-premises service went into effect the next day — yet on March 26, police officers conducting an inspection found three customers in the bar, who were told to disperse. 

Nearly a month into the citywide shutdown, cops returned for another inspection on April 14 and found a large line at the door and a bouncer. Once they got inside, they discovered 14 patrons crammed into the tiny bar. Cops issued a summons to the owner and ordered him to disperse the crowd — only to be met with a rowdy group of customers waiting to get in, according to the state liquor authority.

The very next day, authorities returned once more to find two customers drinking at the bar, according to the agency.

On April 23, the State Liquor Authority slapped the bar with several violations, including failure to comply with the governor’s executive orders, and failure to supervise the licensed premises. Each violation comes with a $10,000 fine, and the bar is now faced with the possibility of permanently losing its license to operate, the state said. 

Club managers did not return calls to the bar’s listed phone number for comment.