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NYC Party Boat Carrying 170 People Busted for Social-Distancing Violations, Unlicensed Bar

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Plus, LES pizza stalwart Rosario’s is looking to relocate to the Upper East Side — and more intel

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s inauguration on Ellis Island
An NYPD police boat on the East River
Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/ Corbis via Getty Images

Party boat busted for social distancing violations

The NYC Sheriff’s office arrested the owners of party boat the Liberty Belle Saturday night after receiving complaints of people not social distancing on board and not wearing masks, the New York Times reports. Officers also found that the boat — which was carry more than 170 passengers — was reportedly operating an unlicensed bar.

The Liberty Belle reportedly took off from the Lower East Side Pier 36 on Saturday night just after 8:30 p.m. A resident of the nearby Two Bridges Tower spotted people on board from his 19th-floor apartment, and posted a photo of it on Twitter alerting Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. She in turn alerted authorities, who made the arrests shortly after the boat returned to dock at around 11:30 p.m.

While New York City has largely brought the spread of COVID-19 under control, the increase in cases nationwide — and scenes of large gatherings like the recent Chainsmokers concert in the Hamptons — has raised concerns about a second wave of cases, prompting officials to crack down on establishments that are not in compliance.

In other news

— UES celebrity hotspot Nello’s had its liquor license suspended after SLA officers reportedly spotted eight customers being served indoors.

— Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the NYPD over the weekend for not enforcing social distancing guidelines at the city’s restaurants and bars.

— A third of NYC’s small businesses may permanently close due to the financial fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

— Self-described “world’s leading plant-based chef” Matthew Kenney is opening up a pasta bar in the East Village.

— LES pizza stalwart Rosario’s is trying to relocate to the Upper East Side.

— Neighbors of chef Michael White’s Italian seafood restaurant Marea say the establishment is taking up too much space on the sidewalk.

— Could definitely go for this breakfast set right now:

UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect that the arrest was made by the NYC Sheriff’s Office. Eater regrets the error.

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