The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Silk Hookah Lounge LLC, also known as “Kloud Tequila,” at 192-08 Northern Boulevard in Queens 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 November 18, 2021. 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 November 13, 2021, officers with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) received a call for shots fired outside of Kloud Tequila. Officers responding to the scene found the premises’ “manager” had suffered a graze wound to his head, in addition to a 29-year-old male that was shot several times in his legs. Video surveillance obtained by the NYPD shows the chaotic scene unfold following the shooting, with patrons fleeing to the bar’s kitchen, basement and attempting to escape through the rear emergency exit of the premises, which was locked. NYPD officers subsequently apprehended a 19-year-old male hiding in a residential backyard near the scene found in proximity to a loaded firearm. The NYPD investigation determined the shooting followed a skirmish outside the bar when a group of patrons were denied entry during a private party taking place inside the premises.
The November 13th shooting follows community complaints and joint SLA/NYPD inspections that already prompted the SLA to bring a sixteen charge revocation proceeding against Kloud Tequila, including for excessive noise, numerous health and safety violations, violations of the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act, and a charge for “availing” their license. The “manager” has admitted to being an unapproved owner, not vetted by the SLA to own or operate the premises.
The SLA will be charging Kloud Tequila with multiple violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, including operating a disorderly premises, failure to supervise and for becoming a focal point for police attention.
“The SLA has zero tolerance for bars where violence and disorder is a routine occurrence, threatening the safety of their neighborhoods and straining police resources,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. “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 health and 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. An order of summary suspension remains in effect until such time as it is modified by the SLA or a reviewing Court.