Long Island City deli loses license after repeatedly selling alcohol to undercover cops posing as minors

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A Long Island City deli with a history of selling alcohol to minors had its license suspended on Sept. 27, according to the State Liquor Authority (SLA).

KNA Food Market, operated by Ali Kasem Al Awdiat at 24-02 34th Ave., had fines dating back to September 2013, when the SLA ordered the business to pay $4,500 for selling alcohol to a minor and for the “unauthorized extension” of the premise by making alcohol sales through an outside window.

The SLA on Wednesday decided to suspend KNA Food Market’s license after the deli sold alcohol to undercover officers posing as minors four times within the past year.

On Jan. 13, 2017, an agent entered KNA Food Market and bought two beers from an employee. The employee was arrested and charged for selling to a minor. Al Awdiat was behind the counter when the arrest occurred.

On March 3, Al Awdiat was arrested for selling alcohol to an undercover agent. Only three weeks later, he was arrested again for the same offense. Police also found that he had three outstanding bench warrants and did not report his arrests to the SLA, which is required under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

KNA Food Market was charged with seven violations of the ABC law on Sept, 21, which included four counts of selling to minors and failure to exercise adequate supervision over the premise.

“This licensee has displayed an alarming indifference to the law and a dangerous pattern of behavior that puts young people within his community at serious risk,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “The SLA will continue taking emergency action whenever a licensee’s reckless behavior threatens the public health and safety.”

The licensee can request an expedited administrative law hearing with an Administrative Law Judge and KNA Food Market will not be able to sell alcohol until the SLA or a court allows it to do so.

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