State Licenses for Two CNY Bars for “Outrageous” Coronavirus Violations –

The Three Bear Inn in Marathon, Cortland County and the Risky Business Cafe in Hamilton, Madison County are among the companies whose state liquor licenses have been suspended in recent weeks for violating coronavirus rules.

They were among the 33 bars and restaurants that lost their license since August 29, but the only ones in Central New York. Three others were in New York State (one each in Counties Albany, Schenectady, and Monroe). In total, 22 of the suspended licenses that month came in New York City, with another five in Long Island and Westchester County.

So far, since March, the State Liquor Authority has suspended 202 coronavirus violations licenses nationwide, the vast majority of them in the New York City / Long Island area. They are among the 1,085 companies indicted since then (only what the state calls "egregious" cases leads to a stay).

In a press release, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office disclosed the following details about the two suspensions in Central New York:

Three Bear Inn, 3 Broome Street, Marathon, suspended September 4th. “On September 3, following complaints, an SLA investigator made a secret visit to the premises and observed a band playing outside with about thirty guests who consumed alcohol and ignored social distancing regulations, including several patrons who did not wear face coverings. The licensee was also found to be serving alcohol from an unlicensed outdoor bar with no food. The licensee was previously warned by the SLA after complaints of social distancing violations were made in late May and early June. "

Risky Business Cafe, 18 Lebanon St., Hamilton, suspended September 12th. On September 11th, SLA investigators openly visited the premises and observed approximately fifteen guests ignoring social distancing and most of them uncovered and waiting to enter the house. The investigators, who were initially denied access to employees, observed around 70 guests inside the premises, although the facility had a maximum occupancy of only 43 people according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health for indoor spaces. Investigators documented the majority of patrons standing without face covering and consuming alcohol in complete disregard of social distancing regulations. Investigators also found no food was served, which was confirmed by the owner, who admitted that they only had popcorn and ice cream sandwiches for sale. "

The Three Bear Inn is a historic bar-restaurant and motel located off Interstate 81 in Marathon. It is the oldest operating company in Cortland County, according to the Cortland Standard.

Risky Business, also known as Magic Maris Risky Business, is located in the heart of downtown Hamilton, home of Colgate University.

Cuomo's office noted that the governor has directed the SLA to step up enforcement in areas with colleges where students have returned for the fall semester.

"With significant college and university-related outbreaks across the country, these increased efforts will help keep our students, faculties, staff and the surrounding communities safe," the news release said.

The 33 suspensions were among 141 new coronavirus violations charges filed by the SLA since August 29. The suspensions made by the SLA board members in an emergency meeting relate to what the state calls "egregious" violations.

Holders of suspended licenses are entitled to a hearing and may be subject to fines of up to $ 10,000 to restore their licenses. Companies that are charged but not suspended can appeal and can also face fines.

Six bars and restaurants in Onondaga County have been charged with violations since March, but no licenses have been suspended so far.


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Don Cazentre writes for,, and The Post-Standard. Reach out to him at or follow him on, on Twitter, or on Facebook

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