The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Plush 101 Inc, doing business as “Plush 101,” at 53 Westchester Square, Bronx today. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, and Commissioner Lily Fan, at a regular meeting of the Full Board on February 15, 2023. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises.
On February 12, 2023, at about 3:30am, a nineteen-year-old woman was shot in the leg by an unknown assailant as she exited her vehicle directly in front of the premises. New York Police Department (NYPD) officers responding to the incident report that the licensee refused to provide video of the shooting or to cooperate in any way with the investigation.
The NYPD reports the February 12 incident is part of a pattern of disorder and violence at the premises that has grown steadily worse., On December 11, 2022 a patron was shot at while leaving the premises, and on December 18, 2021 a another patron was shot multiple times in the chest after exiting the premises. NYPD reports indicate that Plush is chronically overcrowded and that patrons are routinely overserved. Because of the frequency of issues at the premise – 208 calls to service in the past year along- a stepped-up police presence has been required several times per week. Calls to service include: constant crowds of intoxicated patrons and inadequate security, shootings, assaults, weapons possession, intoxicated driving, thefts, noise, public urination, garbage and blockage of the narrow street outside the premises.
The NYPD and the SLA have previously provided warnings to the licensee, and the Special Operations Lieutenant and NCO Sergeant of the 45th Precinct have repeatedly told the licensee of the need to close earlier, have better security, stop overserving patrons, and limit the number of patrons to the legal occupancy.
The premises was previously charged by the SLA on November 14, 2022 for becoming a focal point for police attention, a sustained pattern of noise, disturbance, misconduct, and disorder, as well as the failure to exercise a high degree of supervision.
“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 and disorder 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.