CLIFTON, NJ – The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has announced that is seeking to suspend the liquor license of Sarina’s Bar in Clifton for violating “Murphy’s Law”, a series of executive orders enacted by Governor Phil Murphy. According to the Attorney General’s office, Sarina’s Bar allowed patrons to stand in a bar area drinking alcohol without face coverings and exceeding occupancy limits. The citation comes days before New Years’ Eve by an administration that has made it no secret, they blame bars for COVID-19, despite having shown the public no scientific proof that their decision to shut down bars has stopped the spread of the virus in the state. That decision by Murphy was a state decision, not suggested or ordered by the CDC. The state has refused to release raw data to the public during the COVID-19 epidemic that would be helpful by independent auditors to prove or disprove the state’s claims.
The CDC guidance on bars and restaurants does not indicate any references to shutting down bar services, only that patrons should be seated six feet apart while seated at bars.
“As we’ve said before: we take no pleasure in undertaking these actions, but we’re in the midst of a pandemic and we need everyone in the state to do their part to combat a surge in COVID-19, said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “We will not allow a small percentage of bars and restaurants that disregard mitigation measures to jeopardize public health, and our message is especially important as we head into the New Year’s holiday.”
Earlier on Wednesday, New Jersey State Police Colonel Pat Callahan warned New Jersey residents his agency will be out in force, enforcing Murphy’s executive orders on New Years’ Eve, you can watch that statement in the video below.
Last month, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 194 (2020) (“EO 194”), which, among other things, imposes a 10 p.m. curfew on all indoor food and drink services in the State and prohibits patrons from being seated at an indoor bar at all times. The restrictions were imposed by Governor Murphy in an effort to reduce the sustained close contact that results from patrons seated at indoor bar areas.
Among the 12 bars cited by the Murphy administration, charges stem from violations of EO 194 and/or prior executive orders requiring establishments to limit the number of patrons allowed in indoor areas to 25 percent of the establishment’s indoor capacity; enforce face covering requirements for patrons and employees; prohibit the consumption of food and alcohol by patrons who are not seated at a table; maintain a six-foot minimum distance between dining tables; limit the number of patrons at a table to eight; and enforce social distancing among employees and patrons. During the course of ABC’s compliance checks, some establishments were also charged with ABC violations not related to COVID-19 orders.
- Sarina’s Bar, Clifton. Cited for allowing patrons to consume alcohol while standing in a bar area; violating face-covering requirements; and for exceeding occupancy limits. Penalty sought: 25-day suspension.