Astoria, Queens went viral this weekend for one of its prominent streets, Steinway, becoming the central location of late night partying.
Social media videos posted in the wee hours of Saturday and Sunday morning showed hundreds of people crowded along the street, with many appearing to be visiting the the bar/lounge Brik:
Steinway St. in Astoria, Queens on 7/17 at 1:39 am. pic.twitter.com/HZg2W74cpK
— Alla Lefkowitz (@LegalGal83) July 17, 2020
— WA CARTIER 💫 (@WaWacartier) July 18, 2020
This is Steinway St. in Astoria last night.
Hundreds partying and ignoring covid safety guidelines.
No masks. No social-distancing.
— Ken Buffa (@KenBuffa) July 18, 2020
Mayor de Blasio addressed the issue Sunday morning, writing on Twitter: “Party’s over. Dedicated sheriff patrols will be on Steinway until further notice. They’ll enforce closing times, issue summonses and work with the NYPD to keep the roadways clear. We haven’t beaten COVID-19 yet. We can’t let up now.”
According to Gothamist, the city has also suspended Brik’s outdoor street seating as part of the city’s “Outdoor Restaurants” program for at least seven days. Within that time, the restaurant has to work with the city to share a plan with how they are going to implement and maintain better social distancing measures. The restaurant also told the news outlet, however, they would still be serving diners in their outdoor patio seating, which they have a separate permit for. On social media, Brik maintained that they did not approve of/promote the crowds and that they cannot control people on streets near them.
The City Council member that represents the neighborhood, Costa Constantinides, Tweeted out his disapproval as well:
Last night was an embarrassment.
I have told the Mayor’s Office that what we saw last night cannot happen again. The agencies tasked with enforcing rules must actually be out there.
Tonight I expect them to be. pic.twitter.com/RQvwrHRctC
— Costa Constantinides (@Costa4NY) July 18, 2020
This comes about a week after a popular bar in Greenwich Village, The White Horse Tavern, had its liquor license suspended by the State Liquor Authority after a whopping 30 social distancing violations.
featured image source: Twitter Video Still / @LegalGal83