Two Brooklyn businesses had their liquor licenses suspended in recent weeks after officials found them to be violating pandemic-imposed executive orders — including a Sunset Park establishment in an “orange zone” that inspectors caught hosting a massive underground karaoke party.
On Oct. 16, NYPD officers busted “39 Fantastic Bar” on Eighth Avenue near 40th Street for serving people indoors, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The cocktail bar is located in a designated “orange zone” due to increased numbers of coronavirus cases, meaning indoor dining — even at the now-approved 25 percent-capacity — is forbidden.
State officials said the business covered its windows in order to appear closed while sneaking patrons in discretely and, after getting past a security guard who tried to deny them entry, police found over 100 people crammed into the basement of the establishment — which has a regular capacity of 25 — singing, drinking and using drugs.
Seven people were arrested at the bar for possession of Ketamine and the manager of the bar was issued a summons for operating a disorderly premise, according to Cuomo’s office.
That same day, the state also suspended the liquor license of a Coney Island restaurant on Neptune Avenue near East 13th Street for serving patrons inside despite being located in a designated “orange zone.”
According to the governor’s office, state investigators observed people waiting for a table outside the Wise Bar and Grill without face coverings. When inspectors entered the restaurant, they discovered 24 patrons eating and drinking inside. Officials also found an employee in the kitchen working without a face covering.
The state revoked the license of six other restaurants across the five boroughs as part of a statewide crackdown on bars and restaurants by the State Liquor Authority and New York State’s multi-agency task force, Cuomo’s office said Friday — and officials say they’ve seen compliance rise as enforcement has increased.
“Rules are only as good as enforcement, and as we have ramped up checks on bars and restaurants, compliance has increased, creating a safer environment for everyone,” Cuomo said in a statement. “As we continue to fight clusters across the state, bar and restaurant owners should know that the State’s task force will keep enforcing the law, and if they do not follow the rules they will lose their right to serve alcohol.”