Restaurants fear losing their liquor licenses in wake of executive order, virus spread

Food and Drink

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Beer Park owner Lyjha Wilton says he’s ready to do everything he can to keep COVID-19 out of his business. 

“We started taking peoples temperature at the gate and we have, the whole time, and making sure that everyone is wearing a mask,” said Wilton.

Wilton got word from the health department this past week that someone was at the Rochester Beer Park Friday, who tested positive for COVID-19.

“They looked around and saw we have the systems in place and said we’re doing everything right.”

But business owners are concerned about losing even more money because of shutdowns, and losing their business all together if they’re stripped of their liquor licenses.

Blu Wolf Bistro on Park Avenue has social distancing measures in place like most bars, and they’re going into this weekend doing the best they can, according to CEO Jason Snyder.  But he says it is a lot for businesses to take on.

“After the announcement yesterday, it’s a little confusing,” Snyder said.  “We’re told now that we need to monitor with 100 feet of our business, so if someone is drinking across the street apparently that’s now our job to enforce.”

We checked in with the Monroe County Sheriffs Office about enforcement this weekend.  Representative Sgt. Matthew Buttone gave us this statement:

“All complaints that are received through NY Pause to our agency get routed to the town, village or city code enforcement officer that the complaint falls in . . . Local law enforcement still does not have enforcement ability.”

We reached out to the city of Rochester for more details on how enforcement will work, but representatives declined to comment.

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