45 New York state liquor licenses suspended, 503 businesses charged for violations during pandemic

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that 45 liquor licenses in New York state have been suspended for COVID-19 violations during the pandemic.

Additionally, 503 other bars and restaurants have been charged by the New York State Liquor Authority for violating the rules.

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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,” Gov. Cuomo said in a press release Tuesday. “Local governments must enforce the law, but the task force has stepped up its efforts and with these additional suspensions we are sending a clear message that the State will not hesitate to take action against businesses that put New Yorkers’ health and safety at risk.”

“The SLA will continue to immediately suspend licensees who jeopardize lives by flagrantly violating the Governor’s Executive Orders,” said State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradley in a press release Tuesday. “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.”

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According to the governor’s office, businesses found in violation of COVID-19 regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant’s liquor license.

Officials say emergency Summary Suspensions are imposed when the SLA finds the continued operation of a licensed business threatens public health and safety. Suspension orders are served immediately and remain in effect indefinitely, with the maximum penalty including the permanent revocation of the license and fines of up to $10,000 per violation. Licensees subject to an emergency suspension are entitled to an expedited hearing before a SLA Administrative Law Judge.

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While the governor has said the non-compliance of bars and restaurants has largely been a downstate issue, several local businesses have been charged by the SLA, but all were before the alcohol service rule that requires food orders.

Local businesses charged:

  • Tryon City Tavern — Rochester (charged on April 10, 2020)
  • Titus Tavern — Rochester (charged June 13, 2020)
  • RDE Productions — Rochester (charged on April 30, 2020)
  • JAFCO Enterprises — Rochester (charged on March 18, 2020)
  • Hellaby — Scottsville (charged on March 17, 2020)
  • Navy Club of Lake Ontario Ship 1812 — Brockport (charged on April 23, 2020)
  • 30 Village Landing — Fairport (charged on April 5, 2020)

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