The state Liquor Authority has suspended the liquor license of a Lockport bar that was discovered serving drinks on-site in violation of rules put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.
The authority on Wednesday summarily suspended the license of Mr. Quiggley's Dead Dog Saloon after Lockport police and city building inspectors say they found customers inside the bar on several occasions in April and May.
Officials say the suspension came after the tavern earlier was warned and charged with failure to comply with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's order barring on-premises alcohol and food consumption.
The situation dates back to April 10, when Lockport police responded to a report of a dispute at the bar at 635 West Ave. and found five people inside, according to the authority.
Officers determined the patrons involved in the altercation had been drinking in Mr. Quiggley's for hours and issued a warning to the bar's manager.
The state Liquor Authority on May 6 charged the bar with two violations stemming from the April 10 incident, including failure to comply with the executive order and failure to supervise, but did not suspend Mr. Quiggley's license.
Two days later, on May 8, the authority received another report from Lockport police.
In this case, police following up on a complaint say they found three customers and the manager drinking inside Mr. Quiggley's. When officers arrived, they say they witnessed the manager warning customers about their presence and trying to hide the drinks behind the bar.
The manager, officers said, at first tried to claim the customers were waiting for takeout orders, but finally admitted they were drinking in the bar.
Also on May 8, a City of Lockport building inspector issued to Mr. Quiggley's a notice of violation, following two previous verbal warnings, for alcohol consumption within the bar.
The state Liquor Authority said it lodged additional charges based on the May 8 incident and, on Tuesday, the city's Building Inspection Department ordered the tavern closed for violating the governor's executive order and for having a defective fire system.
The authority's board ordered the emergency suspension of the bar's liquor license during a meeting held via video conference call on Wednesday.
“This licensee received repeated warnings and chose to ignore them, causing an unnecessary and completely avoidable risk to patrons, police and the community,” SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley said in a statement.
The liquor license holder for Mr. Quiggley's, according to the authority, is Michael S. Carrier. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
Carrier now is entitled to an expedited hearing before an administrative law judge.
The Erie County Health Department last month closed down several bars for violating the governor's executive order, including Swannie House, on Ohio Street in Buffalo; A.J.'s Clarence Hollow, on Main Street in Clarence; and Gabels on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo.