Nov. 22, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A troublesome Auburndale bar where a shooting took place earlier this month has had its liquor license yanked, officials announced Saturday.
The New York State Liquor Authority has temporarily suspended the liquor license of Kloud Tequila Grill, located at 192-08 Northern Blvd., which has become a hotspot for crime and anti-social behavior. Residents held a rally last month calling for the hookah bar to be closed.
Several Queens officials held a press conference outside the bar Saturday to make the announcement, which comes in the wake of the shooting and multiple complaints.
Neighbors have described issues with the operators playing loud music late at night, as well as customers littering, urinating on the street, drag racing and performing public sex acts.
The issues escalated to violence on Nov. 13 when a patron pulled out a gun outside the bar following an argument.
The gunman opened fire injuring two people. A 29-year-old man was shot in both legs and a 35-year-old man was grazed by a bullet on the back of his head, according to police. A 19-year-old suspect was taken into custody at the scene and a loaded firearm was recovered.
Local residents said the authorities should have seen the violence coming.
“There were plenty of warning signs before the gun violence,” said Auburndale Northern Association Member Alexandra Han.
The NYPD determined that the shooting stemmed from an altercation in which patrons were denied entry to Kloud Tequila Grill during a private event, according to Assembly Member Edward Braunstein’s office.
Braunstein said the ongoing behavior at the bar should not be taken lightly.
“The issues involving Kloud Tequila Grill extend well beyond unneighborly behavior,” he said in a statement. “For months, the local community has been raising concerns that the ownership and patrons of this establishment were engaged in activity that severely compromised public health and safety.”
Braunstein wants the SLA to permanently revoke its license and says it should not be a temporary measure.
“While the SLA’s ruling to suspend Kloud’s liquor license is a good first start, more needs to be done,” he said. “I continue to urge the SLA to do the right thing by the Auburndale community and permanently revoke Kloud’s license. Enough is enough.”
The SLA has indicated that it “intends to seek the permanent cancellation or revocation of Kloud’s license,” according to Braunstein.
State Sen. John Liu said the future of the bar looks bleak given all its issues.
“The recent gun violence of the last week was the last straw for the state, but our community knew Kloud was dangerous from the beginning,” Liu said. “Any business that operates with such blatant disregard for their neighbors should take warning that our community won’t stand for it, and we will fight tooth and nail to make sure our neighborhoods are safe.”