The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Daddy Goo Goo LLC, doing business as “Casa Di Francesca’s” at 2022 Seneca Street in Buffalo 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 July 1, 2022. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises.
The suspension follows numerous reports from the Buffalo Police Department (BPD) of violent incidents emanating from inside the establishment, the most recent being on June 25, 2022, where BPD responded for a call of shots fired from the patio of the bar. Six 9mm shell casings were recovered.
The June 25th incident is the most recent in a pattern of violence at the establishment. The BPD have indicated that the premises is a drain on police resources and that violence associated with the operation of the licensed premise and/or the conduct of its patrons have been escalating over the last three months, including in 6 out of the last 8 weekends. This recent pattern appears to have resulted from the licensee’s decision to unlawfully turn its restaurant into a nightclub after hours, violating multiple restrictions on its license. Troublingly, the licensee also employs, off the books, his minor children, allowing at least one to serve and handle alcohol without adult supervision. The troubling conduct has continued even after local law enforcement asked the business’s owner to close earlier and take other steps to stem the violence, requests that the owner has ignored.
The SLA has charged Casa Di Francesca’s with 12 violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, including for operating a disorderly premises, becoming a focal point for police attention, employment of a minor, operating in violation of the license’s approved method, and failure to adequately supervise. During the suspension, the SLA will prosecute these violations, the maximum penalty for which is revocation of the license.
“It is clear that there has been a troubling upward trajectory in not only the frequency, but the severity of these incidents,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. “The SLA has an obligation to ensure this violence does not continue, and this emergency suspension should serve as a message that this agency will not hesitate to take immediate action when there is a threat to public safety.”
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 a prompt hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.