The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Saratoga Hospitality at Gaffney’s LLC, doing business as “Gaffney’s,” at 16 Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs 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 May 3, 2022. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises.
The suspension follows numerous reports from the Saratoga Police Department of violent incidents emanating from inside the establishment, the most recent being on May 1, 2022, where a patron was stabbed during a large altercation involving numerous patrons. According to Saratoga Police, video footage shows the brawl and stabbing taking place inside and then spilling into the street.
The SLA today charged Gaffney’s with operating a disorderly premises based on the May 1st incident. During the suspension, the SLA will prosecute this violation, along with multiple other violations based on prior charges that are currently scheduled to go to an administrative hearing. The maximum penalty for today’s charge is revocation of the license.
The May 1st stabbing is third stabbing incident at Gaffney’s since October 2021 and the fourth seriously violent incident emanating from the premises since that date. The SLA has many pending charges against this licensee for these incidents on multiple dates, as well as for the continued pattern of noise and disorder and for becoming a focal point for police attention. Both the May 1st incident, and an incident involving a large fight on March 6, 2022 that began inside Gaffney’s resulted in the injury of multiple police officers.
“There is a clear pattern of behavior which not only threatens public safety, but has become a drain on police resources,” 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 a bar poses 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.