COVID-19: Liquor Licenses Of Yonkers Companies Suspended For Violations


New York State authorities have suspended liquor licenses for 37 more businesses, including three in the Hudson Valley (all in Westchester County), after finding what it labeled violations of COVID-19 pandemic-related executive orders. 

These new suspensions bring the total number of liquor licenses suspended during the coronavirus pandemic to 279, the state announced on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

In total, 1,867 charges have been filed against bars and restaurants for violating coronavirus-related rules. 

Businesses found in violation of these regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant’s liquor license.

The locations of the establishments, all restaurants/bars in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and upstate New York, are as follows:

Outside of New York City:

Nassau – 2Suffolk – 4Westchester – 3Albany – 1Broome – 1Chautauqua – 1Erie – 2

In New York City:

Bronx – 3Brooklyn – 4Manhattan – 4Queens – 8 Staten Island – 4

The Westchester County establishments cited were:

Margarita’s Restaurant & Lounge at 332-334 South Broadway in Yonkers: On Sunday, Oct. 25, officers with the Yonkers Police Department inspected the premises shortly after midnight and found over 100 patrons crowded inside — nearly double the maximum occupancy allowed under COVID-related regulations — not wearing facial coverings, dancing, and smoking hookah, the State Liquor Authority said. 

Officers also found a DJ performing, with music audible a block away. The following evening, SLA investigators conducted a follow-up inspection, once again finding a DJ, two employees not wearing facial coverings, and ten patrons not wearing facial coverings while standing and mingling.

Sahara Café at 473 South Broadway in Yonkers: On Sunday, Oct. 25, SLA investigators and officials with the Yonkers Fire Department conducted a compliance check on the premises, discovering 124 patrons packed shoulder-to-shoulder inside the establishment — which had a pre-pandemic maximum occupancy of 48 and could legally hold just 24 patrons under COVID-related regulations, the SLA said.

The crowded conditions made social distancing impossible and investigators documented no food being served and numerous patrons smoking hookah in apparent violation of the NYS Indoor Smoking Act. 

The premises was also cited for illegally expanding into their backyard and the Yonkers Fire Department issued a stop work order. 

Sahara Café was originally licensed just two months earlier on Monday, Aug. 24. 

Uptown Bar & Grill at 623 South Broadway in Yonkers: On Saturday, Oct. 17, officers with the Yonkers Police Department conducted a compliance check of the premises, finding 168 patrons crowded inside the establishment, which had a maximum capacity of 88 before the pandemic and could legally hold 44 patrons under COVID-related regulations, according to the SLA. 

Police report that the number of patrons inside made social distancing impossible and numerous patrons without facial coverings were mingling, dancing, and drinking. 

Officers noted no food was being served, documented several employees without facial coverings, and observed several individuals smoking hookah throughout the premises. 

The location is a repeat offender, with pending charges for multiple violations issued by the SLA a month earlier. 

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