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Six More NYC Restaurants and Bars Get Liquor Licenses Suspended Over Social-Distancing Violations

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Sceney Soho spot Cipriani Downtown is among the establishments that saw their liquor licenses suspended

New York Governor Cuomo, wearing a suit with a blue tie, sits behind a black tablecloth table during a briefing
Gov. Cuomo announced Friday that six NYC bars had their licenses temporarily suspended over social distancing violations
Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Six more NYC restaurants and bars had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended on Friday over violations of the COVID-19-related safety protocols that are currently in place, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. Cipriani Downtown, the sceney Soho Italian restaurant, was among the restaurants that temporarily lost their licenses.

Between July 21 and 23, a newly-created task force that includes the State Liquor Authority and the New York State police surveyed 1,080 establishments across the state and documented violations at 84 restaurants. Earlier today, Cuomo noted that 37 New York restaurants and bars had been cited today, but did not name any at the time. The state didn’t clarify what fines — if any — it had levied against those establishments, but businesses facing such violations can pay fines of up to $10,000, according to state guidelines.

Licenses are only suspended in the most severe cases, and the six businesses cited today now join three Queens businesses that had their licenses suspended earlier this week, along with a bar on Long Island. The state did not say how long these temporary suspensions would last.

Aside from Cipriani Downtown — where SLA chairman Vincent Bradley saw 17 people drinking outside on tables without any chairs, violating the SLA’s requirement for a “sit-down experience” — the establishments that saw their licenses suspended include Aqua, in Belmont, in the Bronx; Guaro’s Tapas Bar and La Pollera Colorado II, in Jackson Heights; Set L.E.S., on the Lower East Side; and Kandela, in Ozone Park in Queens.

Since the start of the pandemic, the SLA has brought charges against 443 businesses statewide — 70 percent of which are in New York City — and temporarily suspended the liquor licenses of 33 businesses. The new task force is part of Cuomo’s effort to crack down on bars and restaurants that aren’t following social distancing and safety protocols. With the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, there are concerns that New York City could be hit with a second wave of cases without adequate safety precautions.