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December 13, 2020

State seeking to temporarily strip liquor licenses from four South Jersey bars for violation of COVID-19 restrictions

B&B Saloon in Atlantic City could have its liquor license suspended for as many as 115 days

Investigations Liquor
new jersey liquor licenses bars.jpg Adam Wilson/via Unsplash

New Jersey has implemented tighter restrictions on indoor service at bars and restaurants across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three Camden County establishments and an Atlantic City bar could have their liquor licenses temporarily suspended for violating New Jersey’s coronavirus protocols on indoor dining service.

The four South Jersey establishments are among a statewide group of 10 bars and restaurants that are facing charges from Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control for not complying with the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The charges come after state and local officials carried out roughly 500 random inspections of bars and restaurants across New Jersey to enforce and ensure compliance with public health measures. 

While roughly 90% of venues were found to be compliant, more charges are expected to come against restaurants and bars across the state.

“It gives us no pleasure to take these actions, but we’re in the midst of a pandemic and we need everyone in this state to do their part,” Grewal said

“Results of our enforcement sweeps thus far demonstrate that the majority of licensees are following the Governor’s orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those who flout curfews, seating restrictions, face covering mandates, and other mitigation measures will face consequences.”

30 Strikes Bowling Lanes in Stratford could lose its liquor license for 10 days after being charged with violating the state’s 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants to shut down indoor dining service. The curfew went into effect last month.

Jalapenos Bar and Grill in Gloucester County may lose its liquor license for as many as 20 days after it was cited for allowing customers to sit at the bar and for not enforcing the wearing of face masks for a second time during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The state’s ban on bar seating has been prohibited since last month too, while New Jersey has mandated the wearing of face masks in all public indoor settings since June. The only time a face mask can be removed indoors is while eating and drinking at a restaurant dining table.

814 South Pub & Kitchen in Somerdale could lose its liquor licenses for 25 days after being charged with violating the statewide curfew, failing to implement physical distancing between tables, and for not enforcing the wearing of face coverings.

The harshest penalties came down against B&B Saloon in Atlantic City, which could have its liquor license stripped for 115 days. 

The bar was cited for a number of offenses, including the allowance of customers to sit at the bar, failing to implement social distancing and face mask requirements, and exceeding capacity limits. No more than 25% occupancy has been permitted inside bars and restaurants across New Jersey since August.

“ABC will continue to crisscross the state doing surprise inspections of bars and restaurants to identify and hold accountable those operating in violation of the restrictions in place to protect public health and safety,” said James Graziano, the director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. 

“The majority of our licensees are complying with these common sense measures. We will not allow our law-abiding licensees to be put at an economic disadvantage by a rogue few who think they are above ABC regulations and the laws of our State.”

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