March 7, 2019
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Albany, NY

SLA Issues Emergency Suspension for Inwood Lounge

SLA Issues Emergency Suspension for Inwood Lounge
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Albany, NY – The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Fantastic Restaurant and Lounge Corp., at 238 Sherman Avenue in Manhattan. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan, and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a meeting of the Full Board on March 6, 2019.  Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises. During the suspension period the SLA intends to seek the permanent cancellation or revocation of the license.

 

On February 24, 2019, a patron was repeatedly kicked and stomped directly outside the bar in an apparent gang assault, resulting in swelling to the brain.  Video surveillance shows the incident began after bouncers pushed and pepper sprayed patrons inside the bar, leading to numerous individuals fleeing for the exit. 

 

This incident is just the latest in a number of disorders emanating from the bar, with the NYPD reporting the bar has become a drain on resources, with fifty directed patrols in 2018 and ten already this year.  On December 6, 2018, NYPD officers at the location on a directed patrol encountered a crowd of over thirty patrons who refused to disperse after the premises had closed.  Officers report the bar’s management and security disobeyed multiple orders from police to clear the street and sidewalk, blocking both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.  Additionally, on September 9, 2018, NYPD officers responded to a fight directly outside the bar involving numerous patrons, with officers reporting bar security were observed pepper spraying the crowd.  This incident required additional units to break up the fights, and resulted in one officer requiring emergency medical treatment.   

On March 4, 2019, the SLA charged Fantastic Restaurant and Lounge with five violations, including operating a disorderly premise, failure to supervise, and becoming a focal point for police attention. 

“An individual has been seriously injured as a result of this establishment’s lawlessness, and regular police patrols have had no effect on the unsupervised operation of the premises,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “The SLA has an obligation to ensure this violence does not continue, and I applaud the members of the State Liquor Authority for immediately suspending this license.”

 

 

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.

 

On the Web: www.sla.ny.gov

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