NYS suspends liquor license of three WNY bars due to COVID-19 violations

Posted at 4:09 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 16:12:42-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state has suspended the liquor license of 36 additional bars and restaurants due to violations of COVID-19 pandemic-related executive orders.

Three liquor license suspensions handed down by the state were in Western New York, two in Erie County and one in Chautauqua County.

The report details the violations below:

“Big Shots Kennedy Grill” at 674 Route 394 in Kennedy, on November 4, 2020
On October 30th, following community complaints, an SLA investigator inspected the premises, observing approximately 20 patrons without facial coverings standing around the bar, drinking, mingling and congregating while ignoring social distancing. The dining area had been turned into a makeshift dance floor, with tables pushed against the wall and patrons dancing and playing pool and darts. The investigator was also able to purchase a drink without food from a bartender without a facial covering, noting no evidence of food being served during the entirety of the inspection.

“The Cowboy” at 45 West Chippewa in Buffalo, on November 13, 2020
On November 8th, the Erie County Department of Health and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office conducted an inspection of the crowded premises, finding approximately 30 patrons in a nightclub-like atmosphere with a DJ and patrons standing, drinking and mingling without facial coverings. Erie County DOH report previously visiting the premises on August 21st and issuing a warning regarding employees without facial coverings.

“Clinton Bar & Grill” at 2460 Clinton Street in West Seneca, on November 20, 2020
On November 18th, SLA investigators conducted surveillance of the premises, observing multiple cars park at and patrons enter, despite the fact the establishment's lights were off in an apparent attempt to appear be closed. When investigators entered, they found approximately 20 patrons crowded around the bar drinking, standing, and mingling well after the mandatory 10:00 PM statewide closing time implemented to combat COVID.

Officials say 279 liquor licenses have been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic and a total of 1,867 charges have been filed against bars and restaurants for violating rules meant to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

"New York still has one of the country's lowest infection rates and that is a testament to the toughness and unity of New Yorkers all doing what they can to limit spread. Unfortunately, however, some establishments have continued to ignore the rules, putting their customers, as well as their community as a whole, at risk," Governor Cuomo said. "If we let our guard down and ignore basic public health rules, this winter could be one of the darkest periods of this pandemic and we simply cannot let that happen. We know the vaccine is on the way, we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but if we let up now and become undisciplined, it's going to take us even longer to get there."

The state say when the suspensions are issued they remain in place indefinitely.