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New York City’s oldest beer garden – Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Queens – has been shut down for violating health rules during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

The Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall on 24th Avenue was one of 38 establishments in the city and Long Island whose liquor licenses were suspended by the state Liquor Authority for violating Cuomo’s pandemic-related executive orders.

The Czech beer hall and garden opened in 1918.

“On August 8th, investigators warned this establishment that patrons are not allowed to stand and consume alcohol outside the premises,” the SLA said.

“Later that evening, investigators from the multi-agency task force observed twenty patrons standing and drinking in the establishment’s outdoor area, ignoring social distancing guidelines without facial coverings. Investigators entered the restaurant to find an additional twenty customers lined up for drinks at the bar, in flagrant violation of the Governor’s Executive Order in place since March 16, 2020.”

Over the last week, Cuomo’s multi-agency task force — led by the State Police and State Liquor Authority — conducted 6,887 compliance checks and observed violations at 162 establishments.

Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Queens
J. Scott Wynn

Businesses found in violation of COVID-19 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.

The Bohemian Garden, known for its beer and bratwurst and spacious garden, closed on Sunday.

“Thanks to New Yorkers’ hard work, we have achieved — and maintained — one of the lowest infection rates in the country, but now is not the time to let our guard down. We will not allow a handful of bad actors or reckless businesses to halt or reverse New York’s progress,” Cuomo said.

“This is about enforcement, and while state investigators are working tirelessly to enforce compliance, local governments must step up and do their jobs.”

Cuomo’s health cops recently yanked the liquor license of another landmark pub – the Whitehorse Tavern in Greenwich Village.

The SLA recently issued a new rule that prohibits pubs from serving booze without “substantial” food.

Source: New York Post

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