AG: Jersey City lounge, WNY bar, facing license suspensions for COVID-19 order violations

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A Jersey City lounge and a West New York bar are among 12 establishments facing license suspensions for COVID-19 executive order violations, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“As we’ve said before: we take no pleasure in undertaking these actions, but we’re in the midst of a pandemic and we need everyone in the state to do their part to combat a surge in COVID-19,” Grewal said in a statement.

“We will not allow a small percentage of bars and restaurants that disregard mitigation measures to jeopardize public health, and our message is especially important as we head into the New Year’s holiday.”

Last month, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed Executive Order No. 194 which, among other things, imposes a 10 p.m. curfew on all indoor food and drink services in the state and prohibits patrons from being seated at an indoor bar at all times.

Out of the 12 businesses, Six26 in Jersey City faces the harshest potential penalty, an 85-day license suspension, for allegedly violating the curfew and face cover requirements, exceeding the number of patrons seated at a table, allowing smoking indoors, and hindering an investigation.

Conversely, the La Rumba Paisa Tavern in West New York is facing the minimum 10-day license suspension, being accused of allowing patrons to consume alcohol while standing in a bar area.

“The actions announced today demonstrate ABC’s continued commitment to ensuring that all of our licensees are operating in compliance with the Governor’s COVID-19 orders in place to reduce the risk of viral spread,” added New Jersey Director of the Division Alcoholic Beverage Control James B. Graziano.

“Our enforcement actions are necessary to protect the health and well-being of all New Jerseyans and violators face significant consequences.”

Sarina’s Bar in Clifton, Bar El Anochecer and Sports Bar Inn, both of Passaic, Vintage Wines and Bacchus Bar in Old Bridge, Fat Cactus Cantina in New Brunswick, El Tanampa and Ria Mar Bar and Restaurant, both of South River, Donovans Restaurant in Manchester, Bayers Tavern in Gloucester City, and Flip Flopz in North Wildwood were the other bars cited.

During the course of ABC’s compliance checks, some establishments were also charged with ABC violations not related to COVID-19 orders, officials said.

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