July 21, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The state has suspended the liquor licenses of three Queens establishments after their customers were found to be disobeying social distancing rules and mask requirements.
Two bars in Astoria and a pizzeria in Maspeth each had their liquor licenses suspended by the State Liquor Authority Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today.
Brik Astoria, located at 32-16 Steinway St, and M.I.A., located at 27-35 21st St., each can no longer serve alcohol, as well as Maspeth Pizza House, located at 55-60 60th St., until further notice.
It’s not the first time Brik Astoria has been reprimanded for violating COVID-19 rules.
The bar and hookah lounge was suspended from the city’s curbside dining program Sunday after videos surfaced on social media showing massive crowds over the weekend lingering outside the lounge, while blatantly disobeying mask requirements and social distancing orders.
Brik Astoria has been a repeat offender, a state official said. The bar was written up several times in June for violating social distancing requirements.
Astoria has proven to be a particular problem area.
M.I.A. has also been cited for violating the governor’s social distancing requirements. Dozens of patrons were found to be congregating and drinking without ordering food on several occasions, according to the state official.
Maspeth Pizza House is also a repeat offender, the state official said. The pizzeria has been cited for serving alcohol to standing and dancing patrons on multiple occasions, including on July 10 and July 19. SLA investigators also witnessed servers without face coverings, the official said.
Cuomo said it was important that patrons keep away from troublesome establishments that don’t abide by the rules.
He told young partiers to quit being “stupid” at a press conference Monday. Today, he called their actions “dangerous.”
“The restaurants and bars that encourage young people to congregate threaten to bring us back to the hell we experienced three months ago,” Cuomo said. “This is a dangerous situation, and the bad operators will make it worse for themselves and everyone.”
A strip club on Long Island also had its liquor license suspended Monday, Cuomo announced.
The SLA has suspended the liquor licenses of 27 establishments across the state for violating social distancing rules, according to published reports.