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169 Bar's Owner Claims Underage Drinking Sting Was Conducted Illegally

The city wants to close the bar down for a year.


The city's case against the Lower East Side 169 Bar may be a bit thinner than it let on, at least according to bar owner Charles Hanson. Last week, the city filed a lawsuit against 169, claiming bartenders served alcohol to minors in an "open and notorious manner." But, Hanson says all the city can prove is that underage undercover police officers were allowed to enter the bar and weren't carded when they bought beers on November 19 and 20 of last year. But, at least one of the ID's used was a fake, says Hanson. In a statement he tells Bowery Boogie:

The suit by the city does not allege any other incidences of underage consumption or purchase of alcohol....It is my firm belief that the ID used by the NYPD auxiliary officer was a fake ID thus making the alleged police operation unlawful.

The city hopes to levy a $1000 fine for each day the bar served minors and much more alarmingly to shut the bar down for a year and let the sheriff seize and sell "all material, equipment and instrumentality used in the creation and maintenance of the public nuisance." It's unclear if that includes everything — like the back room's one of a kind leopard print pool table — but that sounds pretty severe. The case will be heard in court later today. Stay tuned.

169 Bar

169 East Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10002 (646) 833-7199 Visit Website