Aug. 25, 2020 By Christian Murray
Three more Queens bars and restaurants had their liquor licenses suspended over the past weekend — including a Woodside strip joint— as the state continues to crack down on establishments that violate coronavirus regulations.
The state’s task force led by the State Police and State Liquor Authority (SLA) conducted more than 4,000 compliance checks over the past weekend. Investigators issued violations to 34 businesses and suspended the liquor licenses of 14 establishments across the state.
Businesses that violate COVID-19 regulations — such as face mask requirements, no indoor dining, social distancing, serving past the 11 p.m. dining curfew, or serving alcohol without food — face fines up to $10,000 per violation.
Egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant’s liquor license.
The most recent Queens establishments that had their liquor licenses pulled are Privileged Gentleman’s Club at 49-14 Queens Blvd. in Woodside; Esquina Tequila at 40-01 Northern Blvd in Long Island City; and Palm Court Restaurant & Lounge in Jamaica.
Privileged’s license was yanked after inspectors encountered a security guard at the front door without a mask–who then tried to block investigators and cops from entering the premises.
After gaining entry, investigators discovered 33 patrons inside in a make shift room constructed with a plastic tarp roof and four walls, consuming alcohol and ignoring social distancing guideline. Two additional employees were inside without facial coverings.
The investigators suspended Esquina Tequila’s license after 10 individuals were seen drinking, congregating and ignoring social distancing regulations directly in front of the premises.
Meanwhile, at Palm Court investigators found four patrons inside the premises drinking alcohol and playing pool.
Nearly a third of COVID-related liquor license suspensions have been at Queens businesses over the course of the pandemic. To date, 162 businesses across the state have been slapped with suspensions during the coronavirus pandemic, including 50 in Queens.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York won’t allow the violators of COVID safety measures to ruin the state’s success in beating back the virus.
“Over the last five months, New Yorkers have made great sacrifices to bend the curve, and today’s [Aug. 24] record-low infection rate shows that when we listen to science and take this virus seriously, we can make a difference,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“But too many bars and restaurants are still flouting rules in place to stop the spread and local governments need to step up — so we’ve beefed up enforcement with the state police and liquor authority to hold bad actors accountable.”
For a full list of bars and restaurants that have had their licenses suspended click here