November 10, 2021
Albany, NY

SLA Orders Emergency Suspension for Oswego Bar

SLA Orders Emergency Suspension for Oswego Bar
SLA, DMV, Oswego Police Uncover Widespread Underage Drinking at The Alley Cat
78 Fake IDs Confiscated, SLA Documents 13 Sales to Minors

The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Rehab Tavern Inc, doing business as “The Alley Cat” at 23 West Bridge Street in Oswego today. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a meeting of the Full Board on November 10, 2021. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises.

On Friday, November 5th, investigators from the SLA, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and officers with the Oswego Police Department (OPD) conducted a compliance inspection at the premises. The inspection followed numerous recent complaints of underage drinking at the licensed premises. 

At approximately 11:20 p.m., SLA undercover investigators entered the premises finding approximately one-hundred patrons inside the bar, most appearing to be underage, with several observed drinking alcoholic beverages. Based on these observations, the multi-agency team consisting of the SLA, DMV and OPD entered and secured the premises to begin checking IDs.   

The investigation found that eighty-five patrons inside the premises were not of legal drinking age, despite the bar’s stated policy of not admitting anyone under twenty-one.  SLA investigators observed nine direct sales to minors, in addition to obtaining four statements from minors who admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages purchased from bartenders and four patrons who admitted obtaining alcoholic beverages from other patrons. Seven of the patrons observed or admitting to purchasing alcoholic beverages were just 18 years of age.  DMV investigators and officers with the OPD issued seventy-eight appearance tickets for possession of fictitious or fraudulent identification. In addition, SLA investigators found that one of bouncers on duty was not registered as security a guard.     

On November 10th, the SLA charged The Alley Cat with fifteen violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, including thirteen counts for selling to a minor, failure to supervise and employing unlicensed security guards. 

“Cracking down on underage sales is a priority and the SLA will not hesitate in taking immediate action against bars found in blatant violation of the law,” said SLA Vincent Bradley. “We will continue work with the DMV, the Oswego Police and our partners in law enforcement across the state to hold licensees accountable.”

Emergency Summary Suspensions are imposed when the SLA finds the continued operation of a licensed business threatens public health and safety. Suspension orders are served immediately and remain in effect indefinitely, with the maximum penalty including the permanent revocation of the license and fines of up to $10,000 per violation. Licensees subject to an emergency suspension are entitled to a prompt hearing before an SLA Administrative Law Judge.

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