By Bernadette Hogan
August 17, 2020
Nearly 150 businesses in the state have lost their liquor licenses to date amidst a COVID-19 generated crackdown on bars and restaurants found in violation of social distancing guidance, the State Liquor Authority announced Monday.
That includes 16 bars and restaurants in New York City and on Long Island – six in Manhattan, three in both The Bronx and Brooklyn, one in Queens and one in Nassau County.
A total of 3,375 compliance checks headed by the SLA and the State Police – whose ranks have recently been beefed up by extra agency staff relocated to do inspections – were conducted over the weekend statewide, with 66 violations recorded in New York City and on Long Island alone.
Business owners found guilty of allegations face a $10,000 maximum fine per violation, should the SLA deem complaints made against establishments legitimate.
It’s part of the ongoing struggle downstate bars and restaurants face, as patrons have taken a tad too kindly to outdoor dining habits.
But business owners argue keeping up with the state’s strict coronavirus-related regulations and enforcing them – which already cut down on capacity, force patrons to order food with drinks and limit businesses to outdoor dining only within the five boroughs – puts a major strain on an industry already feeling a major economic crush.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to provide any details or timeline concerning the reopening of indoor dining in New York City, one of the last sectors left untouched amidst reopening plans.
There’s been 812 related charges filed and processed since March.