BY JASMINE PALMA
Two more businesses in Queens had their liquor licenses suspended Tuesday, Aug. 4, after the New York State Liquor Authority went through another round of reprimanding restaurants and bars that don’t adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
Following 945 compliance checks by state police and the State Liquor Authority (SLA), violations were found in 27 businesses.
In Queens, the El Manaba Restaurant, located at 341 St. Nicholas Ave. in Ridgewood, and Kazan Mangal, located at 97-13 Queens Blvd., in Rego Park, were among the restaurants to have their liquor licenses suspended.
A total of 38 Queens establishments have had their liquor license suspended during the pandemic.
Emergency summary suspensions are issued when the SLA finds the continued functioning of the business poses a threat to the public’s health and safety.
Establishments discovered to defy COVID-19 regulations can face up to $10,000 in fines per violation. Egregious transgressions may lead to immediate suspension of a business’s or bar’s liquor license. Summary suspensions continue to be in effect indefinitely.
A license facing an emergency suspension is given an expedited hearing before an SLA Administrative Law Judge.
“New Yorkers crushed the curve of the virus and their actions have allowed us to maintain a low infection rate throughout our reopening, but we must continue to be smart and cautious, especially as we watch cases rise throughout the rest of the country,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “While I commend the vast majority of bar and restaurant owners who have taken extraordinary precautions and remained vigilant during this crisis, our top priority is protecting public health and the task force remains laser focused on holding accountable those who willfully violate the law.”
Emergency suspensions were ordered by Commissioner Lily Fan, Commissioner Greeley Ford and Chairman Bradley at Full Board meetings on Monday and Tuesday via digitally recorded video.
On Sunday, investigators on the multi-agency task force viewed 11 patrons inside El Manaba eating and consuming alcohol. Four were seated at the bar and seven were situated in tables, all of which is illegal activity in New York City. The task force also witnessed four employees inside the restaurant without face coverings.
On the same day, investigators observed four patrons eating and drinking within Kazan Mangal. The restaurant had already been charged on July 26 for allowing patrons to eat inside.
Both had their liquor licenses revoked Monday.
A representative for Kazan Mangal denied the allegations made against them by the SLA, claiming that the restaurant only offers takeout services.
El Manaba declined to comment.
“These compliance details are about protecting public health and keeping people safe, and the SLA will continue to crack down on businesses who flout the law, placing New Yorkers and our continued economic re-opening at risk,” said SLA Chair Vincent Bradley.