Bar caught hosting massive party, drug use alleged

A Sunset Park bar will have to pay the fine.

On Oct. 16, 39 Fantastic Bar, 3914 Eighth Ave., was one of 21 establishments issued emergency orders of summary suspension from the State Liquor Authority after egregious violations of pandemic-related executive orders were found. Three of the establishments were found illegally operating within focus zones designated by the state as part of its micro-cluster strategy.

On Oct. 10, police officers found the bar operating for indoor service in an Orange Zone where indoor dining was prohibited at the time.

According to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, in an effort to avoid detection, the owners of the bar covered their windows to pretend they were closed, while patrons slipped inside.

Officers found around 100 people in the unlicensed basement area, which has a maximum occupancy of 25. Officers also found 10 karaoke rooms filled with patrons singing, drinking and using controlled substances in plain view.

Police arrested seven suspects for alleged possession of ketamine and issued a summons to the manager for operating a disorderly premise.

Businesses found in violation of these regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant’s liquor license.

“Rules are only as good as enforcement, and as we have ramped up checks on bars and restaurants, compliance has increased, creating a safer environment for everyone,” said Cuomo. “A small number of business owners still don’t think the rules apply to them — even in focus zones where the state has tracked increased spread — and these suspensions should serve as a reminder that we will take action against those who callously put New Yorkers in harm’s way.”

“The increase in compliance we’ve seen is encouraging but not surprising, given the fact the overwhelming majority of bar and restaurant owners are hardworking, conscientious operators that put the health of their employees, patrons and communities first,” said State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradley. “However, as the risks associated with noncompliance by just a few bad actors remains high, the task force will continue our work to ensure a handful of reckless business owners do not halt or reverse our state’s progress.”

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