The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Fuller’s Tavern of Cortland Inc., also known as “The Stone Lounge” at 128 Main Street in Cortland today. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan, and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a regular meeting of the Full Board on October 26, 2022. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises.
On October 19, 2022, in a joint action with the Cortland Police Department and the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, SLA investigators made a disclosed visit to the premises. Of the 90 patrons inside, only 13 were over 21 years old. The 77 remaining minor patrons were cited for possession of a fake ID or for using someone else’s ID. SLA investigators obtained affidavits from 13 of the minors admitting to consuming alcohol, 7 of which were only 18 years old, with 12 stating they purchased from the bartender without showing ID.
On October 24, 2022, the SLA charged The Stone Lounge with multiple violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, including selling alcoholic beverages to a person or persons under 21, failure to have trained, licensed security guards at the door in violation of their approved method of operation, failure to maintain adequate and accurate records of business transacted on the licensed premises, and failure to supervise. During the suspension, the SLA will prosecute these violations, the maximum penalty for which is revocation of the license.
“The SLA remains committed to working with our partners in law enforcement to keep alcohol out of the hands of underage youth,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. “SLA license holders have an obligation to obey the law. This business has failed to uphold their obligation as a licensee, and the Board is taking action to ensure public safety by cracking down on these illegal sales.”
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.