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Judge Allows East Village Spot Cloister Cafe to Temporarily Reopen Following SLA Lawsuit

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Plus, seven more streets have been added to the city’s outdoor dining program — and more intel

A white facade with a green awning that reads “Cloister Cafe” and ivy on the building
Cloister Cafe in the East Village
Via Google Maps

East Village restaurant scores initial victory against SLA over liquor license suspension

The East Village restaurant that slapped the State Liquor Authority with a lawsuit over its liquor license suspension last month has won a temporary victory in court that will allow the establishment to reopen on Tuesday. The New York Post first reported on the development.

In August, medieval-themed the Cloister Cafe became one of dozens of restaurants and bars across the city to see its liquor licenses suspended over social-distancing violations in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant was allegedly hosting secret parties, though the owners of the establishment alleged that the SLA had made its decision based on an article published in Gothamist, and not first-hand information.

Now, a judge has granted the restaurant a temporary restraining order against the SLA’s ruling, allowing it reopen as the case moves forward. The SLA, however, is not backing down, and told the Post in a statement that it “will continue to vigorously defend the state’s actions and remain laser focused on protecting New Yorkers during this pandemic.”

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 40 NYC establishments had their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for not enforcing coronavirus-related safety guidelines.

In other news

— New York City has added seven more locations to its open streets and restaurants program. Most of the new locations are in Lower Manhattan, and the program allows streets to be closed off for outdoor dining on weekends. There are currently 87 such designated streets across the city.

— Popular Israeli gelato export Anita has opened its first U.S. outpost on the Upper East Side at 1561 Second Avenue, near East 81st Street.

— Many NYC restaurateurs say the return of limited indoor dining later this month won’t save restaurants.

— Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s seafood-focused South Street Seaport restaurant the Fulton has reopened for outdoor dining. Reservations are encouraged.

— Well, did you?

The Cloister Cafe

238 E 9th Street, New York, NY 10003 (212) 777-9128 Visit Website