October 4, 2018
Albany, NY

SLA Issues Emergency Suspension for Astoria Bar

SLA Issues Emergency Suspension for Astoria Bar

Albany, NY – The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of JJK & LK Corp., doing business as “Home” at 28-49 Steinway Street 32-17 in Astoria today. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan, and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a special meeting of the Full Board on October 4, 2018. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises. During the suspension period the SLA intends to seek the permanent cancelation or revocation of the license.

On September 30, 2018 a bouncer working at Homes assaulted a heavily intoxicated patron, breaking his jaw and causing substantial injuries. This recent incident is just the latest at the Homes, which according to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has become a continuous source of disorder for the NYPD’s 114th Precinct. Since January, the NYPD has referred seventeen incidents stemming from the Astoria bar, including:

• On August 18th, NYPD officers responded to a 911 call for an assault in progress, discovering a male patron had been slashed with a broken bottle; • On June 10th, officers responded to a 911 call regarding a male patron assaulting a female patron. The female suffered lacerations and was transported to the hospital;

• On April 22nd officers responded to an unconscious male in front of the premises, who, according to the manager was drinking inside and passed out.

• On March 18th officers observed a violent altercation directly in front of the premises. Officers observed an individual exit the premises and retrieve what appeared to be a firearm from the trunk of a vehicle. The search of the vehicle uncovered a BB gun, an expandable baton, a gravity knife and a radio that could pick up NYPD frequencies. The NYPD additionally discovered the individual was working as an unlicensed bouncer for Home;

• On March 7th the SLA and the NYPD Vice Club Team conducted a joint inspection of the premises. The inspection resulted in twenty-five violations, with the NYPD issuing nineteen criminal court summonses;

• On February 23rd officers responded to a 911 call from a female reporting she had been forcibly touched inside the premises. Responding officers found the highly intoxicated male perpetrator who had been overserved inside the bar;

• On February 11th officers responded to a 911 call for an altercation involving at least ten patrons, with the NYPD issuing summonses for disorderly premises and failure to control the crowd;

• On January 8th a patron was punched in the face by a bouncer with brass knuckles, causing lacerations and swelling to the head.

On October 3rd , the SLA charged Homes with three violations of the ABC Law, including for operating a disorderly premise, failure to conform with their application, and lack of supervision. Additionally, the SLA has three pending cases against Homes, with charges including serving intoxicated patrons, employing unlicensed bouncers, and for becoming a focal point for police attention.

“Despite being licensed for just over a year, this licensee has demonstrated an inability to comply with the law and has taken zero measures to provide for the safety of their patrons,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “The SLA is compelled to take emergency action as this licensee has failed to take any actions to prevent these violent incidents, despite clear and repeated warnings.”

The State Administrative Procedure Act authorizes a State agency to summarily suspend a license when the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action. When the SLA summarily suspends a license, it also serves a Notice of Pleading alleging one or more disciplinary violations. In invoking a summary suspension, the SLA has deemed the violation to be sufficiently serious upon initial review to warrant an immediate suspension. The SLA’s decision to summarily suspend a license is not a final determination on the merits of the case. The licensee is entitled to an expedited administrative law hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. An order of summary suspension remains in effect until such time as it is modified by the SLA or a reviewing Court.

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