NYS Liquor Authority details ‘egregious’ violations at Masons on Alexander

Food and Drink

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that 33 New York state bars and restaurants had liquor licenses suspended after finding ” egregious violations of COVID-19 regulations — including Masons on Alexander in Rochester’s East End bar district.

Last week, the restaurant posted on social media that its liquor license was suspended due to violations against coronavirus restrictions, but said they they didn’t have any explanation.

According to the governor’s office, when a State Liquor Authority investigator visited the establishment on September 9, the restaurant sold alcoholic drinks without requiring a food order, the employees weren’t masked properly and there wasn’t social distancing.

The full statement:

On September 4th, an SLA investigator made an undisclosed visit, discovering a packed bar with numerous social distancing violations. After paying a $5 cover charge, the investigator purchased a beer without food at the upstairs main bar, noting all three bartenders present had facial coverings pulled down below their noses and mouths. The investigator documented fifty-five patrons near the bar area, at least ten standing and drinking without facial coverings, and numerous patrons coming and going from the area, completely ignoring social distancing requirements.

The investigator also observed sixteen patrons in the basement bar area, including six standing and drinking, and two bartenders improperly wearing their facial coverings. The investigator asked to order food and was told by a bartender that the premises only serves popcorn, a fact the owner later confirmed. Directly outside the bar, the investigator observed eighteen patrons, most of whom were standing, drinking and ignoring social distancing.

MORE | Q&A with NYS Liquor Authority on new alcohol service rule requiring food order

Masons was one of 201 businesses’ whose liquor license was suspended during the pandemic. Over 4,500 compliance checks have been conducted and 1,084 charges have been filed and processed.

“New Yorkers have worked together to stop the spread of coronavirus — but with our infection rate hovering around 1 percent and the threat of a second wave on the horizon, we must double down on the successful strategies that have helped us over the last six months,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement Friday. “While it is clear the increased enforcement by our task force has made an impact, we cannot let ourselves become complacent or allow those coming from other states to import indifference for these critical public health rules. This action should serve as a reminder to the small number of establishments who openly flout the rules that they are putting all New Yorkers at risk, and they will be held accountable.”

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