Isaac Scher


In July, the State Liquor Authority suspended 64 businesses’ alcohol licenses in New York City, government data shows. The SLA found just four violations in Brooklyn, primarily in the Clinton Hill and Cobble Hill neighborhoods. 

Bar Tabac, the only named violator in Brooklyn, was found to have “seven employees without facial coverings, including the premises’ manager, a bartender, the host, and four members of the kitchen staff,” according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. “The licensee was well aware of the requirements, with prior violations of the Governor’s Executive Orders in June.” 

Suspensions last month were meted out primarily in Queens, where 46 businesses had their licenses revoked. Six were suspended in Manhattan, and four in the Bronx. Just two businesses paid out large civil penalties to have their suspensions rescinded: One in the Bronx, for $35,000, and in Queens, for $25,000. Another Queens establishment had its suspension “stayed by court order.” 

The SLA crackdown on violations comes as New York state tests a record-number of residents for the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. On July 31, more than 80,000 New Yorkers were tested for COVID-19, and just 0.9 % tested positive. Of the 37,000 New York City denizens tested on the same day, 0.8% were found to be positive

“Our future is dependent on what we do,” Gov. Cuomo said on Saturday, “and social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands are useful and effective tools as we combat this virus.” 

“New Yorkers should continue practicing those basic behaviors and local governments should enforce state guidance,” he added. 

Some are not practicing safe social distancing or wearing masks as they enjoy the festivities of summer, however. Two boat owners were arrested by the New York City Sheriff for convening a large, dangerous gathering on the Liberty Belle, a riverboat on Pier 36 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 

More than 170 guests were aboard on Saturday evening as the vessel returned to port, where the police busted the party for social-distancing violations. 

“I want the business in New York to do well,” Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president, said. “But you have to follow the rules in terms of safety and health.” 

Cover Photo By Erik Kantar

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