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Astoria Bar Suspended from City’s Curbside Dining Program After Crowds Swarm Street

July 20, 2020 By Allie Griffin

An Astoria bar and lounge has been booted from the city’s curbside dining program after crowds of customers swarmed the street out front with little to no concern for social distancing rules.

The city has suspended Brik Astoria, located at 32-16 Steinway St., from its outdoor dining program for seven days after dozens of videos and complaints surfaced over the weekend showing a clear lack of social distancing among patrons.

The lounge cannot set up tables and chairs in curbside street parking areas for one week and must submit a social distancing plan to the city to resume operations.

Brik Astoria is the only establishment that the city has suspended from the program thus far, according to City Hall.

Videos from this weekend show massive crowds of people — many without face masks — dancing and singing in the middle of Steinway Street. One video shows two people climbing up a moving ice cream truck.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the crowding “unacceptable” on Saturday afternoon and warned that the coronavirus pandemic is not over.

“New Yorkers have made too many sacrifices to fight COVID-19,” he Tweeted. “We can’t let up now.”

By the following evening, de Blasio had taken a stronger stance, Tweeting “Party’s over.”

“Dedicated sheriff patrols will be on Steinway until further notice,” he wrote. “They’ll enforce closing times, issue summonses and work with the NYPD to keep the roadways clear.”

Astoria Council Member Costa Constantinides called the crowds on Steinway Street Friday night “an embarrassment.”

He issued a strongly-worded statement Saturday, condemning the bars and residents responsible and city agencies for a lack of enforcement.

“For the last week, we have seen a select few bars think they can flaunt every rule in the book while the City agencies tasked with enforcing them sit idly by,” Constantinides said.

“Our streets have descended into pure mayhem, the threat of COVID-19 spreading is dangerously high, and Astoria residents are rightfully furious at the relentless noise that goes into the early hours of the morning.”

He said Astoria has descended into “complete chaos” and that a few bars have turned the neighborhood into “one giant resort bar.”

Constantinides alerted the mayor’s office, the governor’s office and the State Liquor Authority (SLA) as well, he said.

“Every business that flouts the rules has to be shut down — period.”

On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted a ‘Three Strikes and You’re Closed’ initiative in which any establishment that receives three violations will be closed down.

This morning, he responded to the chaotic scene along Steinway Street on Twitter, but didn’t say whether the state or SLA would reprimand Brik Astoria or other bars along the strip.

“This is not NY Tough and it sure isn’t NY Smart,” he wrote.

He told the young people partying to “don’t be stupid” at a press briefing this morning and warned that the state could roll back its reopening plan by closing bars and restaurants if the lack of social distancing continues at such establishments.

Cuomo said the local governments must enforce the requirements.

De Blasio also said last week that the cases of COVID-19 are rising among New Yorkers in their 20s — and bar hopping could be a cause.

Council Member Constantinides, who was previously hospitalized for COVID-19 himself, called out young adults partying through the night on the Astoria block.

“To those out there partying until sunrise, stop,” he said. “COVID-19 is still a serious threat, and just because you’re young doesn’t mean you’re invincible.”

He warned that they could pass the deadly virus to others who are more vulnerable.

The Council Member also added that Astoria residents deserve to walk down clean streets safely and go to bed without it sounding like a carnival outside.

“I am sorry that has been taken away from them this week, but we are working to ensure they are afforded that basic right.”

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13 Comments

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Blue Lives Matter.

First people complain about the NYPD being too Ruff & Tuff, now the same people are complaining about the NYPD not doing anything. There’s no pleasing some people.

921
Reply
🚨🚔🚨

Simple fix
shut it down, give everyone a fine . Let the NYPD do their job. Hit them where it hurts in their pockets

672
Reply
Sal

Mayor DeBlasio doesn’t want the NYPD to do their job. Blame Bill DeBlasio and his goons for turning the city upside down.

942
Reply
You asked for it.

The NYPD should give out tickets to everyone, but Mayor DeBlasio doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling, he doesn’t want to offend “certain” people. Another DeBlasio special, you want you got it.

73
Reply
John

The city should look into many of the bars and clubs up on Northern Blvd. No masks, no social distancing, fighting, littering and drunks lined up outside, waiting to cat call or harass your wife and daughter. Its disgusting. All they care about is making money, not anyones well being. Maybe the bartenders could use a little discretion when it comes to serving their customers alcohol.. if theyre drunk, enough is enough. Maybe then i wont have to find people passed out in front of my home anymore or have some creep follow my daughter home.

Reply
The Twilight Zone 🤖👿🕵

Bill DeBlasio says no large gatherings but he lets the protesters do what they want . He sees this & he gets upset. What’s wrong with this Mayor DeBlasio ?

257
Reply
Biomedical engineer

A bunch of knuckleheads. They need to be re-educated in many things; especially in science and history, since they don’t understand how viruses are spread and the dangers that a virus may bring. If they learned a little bit of history and understood how a virus can kill millions such as the Spanish flu, they’ll probably be a little more cautious. Well then again, these are the idiots that NY’s education system produces.

11
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DeBlasio city 🐀

Mayor should find those protesters crowding the streets also unacceptable. Those people causing delays , causing traffic, obstructing the streets & sidewalks. All of that is unacceptable.

546
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