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New York’s State Liquor Authority has shut down a dozen New York City bars due to “egregious” violations of coronavirus reopening orders, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
The governor last week announced a “three strikes and you’re closed” policy in the Big Apple but said that in rare, flagrant cases bars could be shut down on the spot.
Over the weekend, that happened to 12 businesses, which have all had their liquor licenses suspended for allegedly flouting Cuomo’s executive orders.
FILE – In this June 10, 2020 file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wears a mask during a news conference at Laguardia Airport’s Terminal B, in New York. New York is launching a national advertising campaign encouraging people to wear masks, said Cuomo, Thursday July 16, 2020, who has expressed concern about rising infections out-of-state. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FIle)
“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,” said Vincent Bradley, chairman of the State Liquor Authority.
All of the bars that had their liquor licenses suspended are in Queens. Seven are in the Jackson Heights neighborhood. Two are in Corona, two in Astoria, and the last one is in Ozone Park.
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In one instance, an investigator allegedly found more than 30 people “drinking and partying” outside De La Mora Restaurant in Jackson Heights almost an hour after the city’s curfew, ignoring social distancing.
At Delicia’s Mexicanas in Corona, the manager is accused of blocking an investigator’s path as a waitress allegedly warned customers to leave out a back door.
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Other venues allegedly hosted “nightclub-on-the-street” atmospheres that blocked sidewalk traffic. Many were repeat offenders, according to state authorities.
The suspensions were issued because the SLA deemed that allowing the businesses to continue operating “threatens public health and safety,” according to a statement from the governor’s office. They remain in place indefinitely but can be appealed to a judge.
Overall, more than 150 businesses were accused of violations over the weekend and on Monday night – and each of them carries a fine of up to $10,000.
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"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," Cuomo said.
The governor separately said he was “appalled” by video showing a large crowd at a concert in Southampton, about 83 miles east of the city, Saturday night.
“The Department of Health will conduct and investigation,” he tweeted. “We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.”
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