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County shuts down two bars serving food, drinks on site

Posted at 5:04 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 18:51:23-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Less than one week after Governor Andrew Cuomo moved all bars and restaurants to take out or delivery only in the State of New York, two local bars were shut down Friday for violating that order.

According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Swannie House in Buffalo and A.J.’s Clarence Hollow were both closed down Friday by the Erie County Health Department along with the Sheriff’s Office.

“They’re maybe doing it in a sly manner like oh come for take out but you can sit there and have a beer. You can’t do that,” Poloncarz said. “If you are violating that order we will shut you down.”

“People were ordering food and drink in the restaurants,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein.

We called Swannie House and left a message. We have not heard back.

A.J.’s posted on its Facebook page saying the business was “overrun with takeout orders and began falling behind on getting people in and out quickly.”

They go on to say, “This caused people to congregate waiting for their food longer than anticipated. It was not intentional, but unfortunately did happen.”

The county says its receiving tips to its online complaint system, but sometimes people are failing to provide exact information.

A county spokesperson says they need the date and time of the alleged incident, the name and physical address and a very detailed description of what the alleged violation was that they observed.

The same type of complaints can be made for large gatherings or private parties. The county says anyone who believes large gatherings are taking place in public spaces or private residences are asked to call their local police department.

It’s now up to the State Liquor Authority to decide what happens to this bars and restaurants next. 7 Eyewitness News has reached out to the SLA and is waiting to hear back.

The county says it is also investigating other establishments who have been accused of violating the Governor’s order.