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NYC Landmark The White Horse Tavern Temporarily Closes After 30 Social Distancing Violations

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

NYC Landmark The White Horse Tavern Temporarily Closes After 30 Social Distancing Violations

A few weeks back, Governor Cuomo reminded restaurants & bars they could lose their liquor licenses for not following safety rules, and now one popular bar has suffered the consequences.

The White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village, known for its rich history as it dates back to 1880 and is the second oldest pub in NYC, just had its liquor license suspended. The State Liquor Authority (SLA) issued a detailed press release announcing the news on their website. It appears to be the first NYC business to receive such ramifications.

Apparently they had undercover investigators stopping by the joint for weeks. On June 14, before outdoor dining officially started, the investigator was served alcohol without being required to purchase food, which is part of the Governor’s Executive Order. Again, on June 20 (before outdoor dining began), the investigator counted 67 people standing in front of the restaurant drinking alcohol. Over the following weeks, there were many more complaints to 311 of overcrowding which led to NYPD visits corroborating the violations.

The report states: “On July 7, 2020, the SLA charged the White Horse Tavern with thirty violations, including multiple counts of failure to comply with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders concerning COVID-19 restaurant restrictions, operating an unauthorized outdoor bar and failure to supervise the licensed premises.”

This resulted in an emergency suspension of their liquor license by the SLA on July 8, after which they decided to shut down temporarily.

The historic business wrote a long post in response to the news on Instagram, saying:

“We are the first to admit we were overwhelmed with the demand and weren’t prepared with the staff to deal with the over crowding. We attempted to adapt and come up with solutions to keep our patrons and staff safe and still remain in business. Nobody is above the law, we aren’t asking for special treatment. But I hope people realize that this new way of doing business was thrust upon us. There is no perfect way to deal with hundreds of people showing up out of the blue. We did our best and continued to try and work towards what was asked of us.”

You can read the full post here.

featured image source: Instagram / @whitehorsetavern1880