ALBANY — Beer pong alert: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is directing his recently heavy-handed State Liquor Authority to beef up inspections at watering holes frequented by college kids.
“With the return of college students for the fall semester, Governor Cuomo has directed the State Liquor Authority to increase efforts to ensure bars and restaurants in areas where college students gather are abiding by all public health measures,” a Friday press release announced.
It cited “egregious violations” in Cortland, Dutchess, Madison, Monroe, Oswego and Schenectady counties — some of which leading to the suspension of the business’ liquor license.
“With significant outbreaks linked to colleges and universities across the nation, these stepped-up efforts will help keep our students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding communities safe.
“On the list of casualties include Poughkeepsie’s Emmett Mahoney’s Irish Pub and Steakhouse in Poughkeepsie — a favorite of Marist College students.
State inspectors visited the establishment on Friday, Sept. 11 and observed 50 revealers drinking and floating social distancing requirements while dancing to a DJ sans masks.
Other offenders include Albany’s “Clubhouse,” following an Aug. 28 visit after multiple complaints were waged according to state records.
A state inspector found overcrowding, maskless patrons and “no evidence of food being served to those seated at the bar.
The SLA even tried — and failed — to contact the bar “to inform the establishment of requirements before the inspection,” phoning the bar “to discuss the complaints received.”
But an employee hung up while the examiner was reading out a list of violations.
The move comes as colleges in the Empire State and across the nation have seen a spike in coronavirus cases as students have returned to campuses for the fall semester.
Upstate’s own SUNY Oneonta became the first public college to be shut down and forced to transition to an entirely remote semester following an explosion of COVID-19 cases earlier this month.
Two hundred and one liquor licenses have been swiped by the state since March, 1,084 charges filed against bars and restaurants for alleged COVID-19 reopening requirements and social distancing violations as well as thousands of compliance checks reported.
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