New Jersey Police Continue Restaurant, Bar Crackdown, More Bars Facing Liquor License Suspensions


AG Grewal announced that the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) this week issued charges against six bars, restaurants, and liquor stores for violations amid the COVID-19 emergency. One establishment faces a potential revocation of its liquor license, two face a minimum 10-day suspension each, and three other establishments were issued fines.

Under executive orders issued by Governor Murphy, businesses licensed to sell alcohol in the state are permitted to remain open during the COVID-19 state-of-emergency, but only for take-out or delivery services of food and alcohol. No table or bar service is permitted, and on-premise alcohol consumption is prohibited.

In a notice of charges issued this week, the Mt. Royal Inn in East Greenwich was charged with twice violating COVID-19 executive orders by allowing patrons to drink on its licensed premises. The first incident, which occurred on March 21, resulted in a warning from the local police. Despite the warning, the charges allege that Mt. Royal Inn again allowed patrons to drink on premises on April 4. The Division seeks revocation of Mt. Royal Inn’s liquor license.

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Establishments facing minimum 10-day suspensions for allowing patrons to consume alcoholic beverages on licensed premises are:

Shakey Jake’s Café in Stanhope
Tequila Club in Plainfield City

The establishments issued fines for violations of COVID-19 orders are:

  • Driftwood Liquor and Bar in Highlands ($750) for allowing employees to drink on licensed premises.
  • Madd Hatter in Hoboken ($500) for allowing employees to be on licensed premises without face masks.
  • Tomar’s Discount Liquor in Buena Vista ($500) for allowing patrons on the licensed premises without face masks.

Violation of the emergency orders is a disorderly persons offense carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Such violations are charged by summons, without arrest.

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Photo by Mary Rebecca Elliott on Unsplash