Liquor License Suspended at Hi-Life Bar & Grill

On July 29, investigators observed violations at 41 bars across New York State, and “formal charges are being prepared.”

Seven establishments were “issued emergency orders of summary suspension from the State Liquor Authority Board following a meeting on July 30th.”

One of these establishments was Hi Life Bar & Grill, located at 477 Amsterdam Avenue (at the corner of 83rd Street). The report states that “On July 29th, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed patrons seated and being served inside, under a permanent structure, in violation of the NYS Department of Health’s interim guidance for outdoor service.”

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Hi Life Bar & Grill was the only bar in Manhattan to have its liquor license suspended as a result of the July 29 investigation, though 20 total citations were issued to Manhattan establishments.

We spoke with Hi Life Bar & Grill’s owner, Earl Geer. He told us that a misunderstanding in the State’s guidance lead to this suspension without any prior warning. As the guidance was changed to allow outdoor street seating with fixed roofs (tents), he was under the impression that there would be more leniency for him to utilize his enclosed cafe seating with the doors fully open.

Hi Life Loses Liquor License

Geer also tells us that Hi Life Bar & Grill has been inspected multiple times with no issues, and that he’s working on making everything right. Hi Life is currently offering patrons complimentary watermelon and fruit-infused drinks.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Hi Life Bar & Grill

The report also states that “Since Monday, the task force has completed 1,966 compliance checks and observed 96 violations, for a non-compliance rate of almost 5%. Businesses found in violation of COVID-19 regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant’s liquor license.”

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Since the beginning of June, citations have been issued to the following UWS bars and restaurants. All citations are listed as “failure to comply – local regulations:”

  • Frank Mac’s, 425 Amsterdam Avenue
  • Lion’s Head Tavern, 995 Amsterdam Avenue
  • Land Thai Kitchen, 450 Amsterdam Avenue
  • Amsterdam Ale House, 340 Amsterdam Avenue
  • Tiki Chick, 517 Amsterdam Avenue
  • The Gin Mill, 442 Amsterdam Avenue
  • 8th Hill, 359 Columbus Avenue
  • Osteria Cotta, 513 Columbus Avenue
  • Cafe Luxembourg, 200 West 70th Street
  • Tenzan, 285 Columbus Avenue
  • Perfecto Pizza / Telio’s, 2479 Broadway
  • Bin 71, 237 Columbus Avenue
  • The Consulate, 519 Columbus Avenue
  • Ortomare Ristorante Pizzeria, 994 Columbus Avenue
  • New Ranchito, 924 Amsterdam Avenue
  • Angaar, 283 Columbus Avenue
  • Cafe Fiorello, 1900 Broadway
  • Serafina, 2737 Broadway

The ‘Three Strikes and You’re Closed’ initiative, which Governor Cuomo launched this month, states that establishments which receive three violations will be closed.

The full report can be viewed here.

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