Albany, NY – The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Soel Lounge Inc., doing business as “Embassy Lounge” at 33-02 Queens Boulevard in Queens. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan, and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a meeting of the Full Board on November 6, 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 October 26, 2018 a female patron was stabbed by another patron, resulting in the loss of her eye. The licensee failed to call 911 to report the incident, and refused to later share video surveillance with New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers. This incident is just the latest at the Embassy Lounge, who according to the NYPD has become a continuous source of disorder.
On October 2, 2018 a large brawl broke out in front of the premises involving numerous intoxicated patrons, requiring the NYPD to call in additional units to break up. During the altercation, a female patron was hit by a bottle in the head, with the bar’s staff refusing to provide her aid or call an ambulance. On October 7th a patron involved in an altercation inside the bar was subsequently assaulted by five men outside the Embassy Lounge, where he was punched, kicked and slashed, requiring 62 staples. The licensee’s employees again refused to share video surveillance with the NYPD. Following these assaults, the SLA and the NYPD conducted a joint inspection of the premises on October 12th, with the NYPD issuing forty summonses for fire and safety code violations.
On November 2, 2018, the SLA charged the Embassy Lounge with twenty-one violations of the ABC law, including operating a disorderly premise, employing a felon, failure to maintain books and records, and improper conduct for refusing to provide medical aid to an injured patron. The SLA also has a pending cases against the Embassy Lounge, charging the bar on November 1st with employing unlicensed bouncers, operating a disorderly premise and failure to supervise. Additionally, on May 2, 2018 the SLA fined the Embassy Lounge $15,000 for six charges of operating a disorderly premise.
“This licensee has taken no actions to stem the violent incidents and rampant disorder that are occurring at this bar on a regular basis,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “The complete failure to supervise or offer help to patrons assaulted at his establishment poses an imminent threat to the community, and I applaud the Authority for shutting down this establishment.”
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 # # #