A few weeks ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued yet another executive order regulating bars and restaurants that are attempting to reopen safely under the state’s pandemic guidelines. This one was especially curious because it ordered any such businesses offering outdoor service to only serve liquor if customers also ordered “substantial amounts of food” with any alcohol purchase. The establishment must also offer a “sit down experience” under the order. This put bars like “Lucky” in the East Village in a tough spot, since they only served typical “bar food” items. Lucky’s owner, Abby Ehmann, found the regulation to be unfair and started a petition among local business owners and patrons, asking the Governor to rescind the order.
That’s when a most curious coincidence seemed to take place. Last week, officials from the State Liquor Authority showed up at Lucky for an unannounced inspection to see if customers were ordering food with their drinks. The owner received a “warning” that didn’t list any specific code violations. Then a few days later and with no additional inspections having taken place, Ehmann’s liquor license was unceremoniously suspended, effectively putting her out of business. (NY Eater)
Abby Ehmann, the owner of East Village dive bar Lucky, has had her liquor license suspended a week after she started a petition calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reverse the state’s new mandate that bars must serve substantial amounts of food with any alcohol purchase.
Ehmann says that two State Liquor Authority representatives visited the bar on Monday night at 8 p.m. to observe if the bar’s eight customers had ordered food with their drinks. After the visit, Ehmann received her first warning from the SLA on a piece of paper that did not list out the specific violations, she says. Shortly afterward, and with no further warnings, Lucky’s liquor license was suspended. Neighborhood news site EV Grieve first reported on the suspension.
“No other safety measures were inspected or questioned,” Ehmann says in an email. “Also, no other bars or restaurants in close proximity to mine received this inspection, causing me to believe that I was intentionally targeted for selective enforcement by the Governor and State Liquor Authority.”