BEAVER DAMS, N.Y. (WETM) – Matt’s Place in Beaver Dams has had their liquor license suspended for allegedly violating Governor Cuomo’s executive order to cease on-premise service of food and alcohol, according to the New York State Liquor Authority.
According to the State Liquor Authority, investigators observed people entering and exiting the business and all but one had a takeout order.
Inside the bar the investigator found “eight to ten patrons seated at the bar consuming bottled, canned and draft beers.”
The owner of the bar, Matt O’Dell, told investigators he was only serving patrons waiting for takeout and that the Governor’s order was “unenforceable.”
“When informed that doing so was still a violation, the owner grew increasingly antagonistic,” said the The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA).
O’Dell recognizes that he became upset, but sees his reaction justified.
“I got a little angry with him, but, you know, it’s understandable, they were messing with my livelihood,” said O’Dell.”I can’t pay my bills unless I sell beer and food. All I’m trying to do is make a living and I try to comply with it as much as possible to a point were I can’t live anymore and that is where my decisions come from.”
Matt’s Place was charged on May 11 with violations for failing to comply with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders concerning COVID-19 restaurant restrictions and for failing to supervise the licensed premises.
The bar posted a message on Facebook regarding the closure.
“Holding a liquor license is a privilege that comes with responsibilities, none more important than ensuring your actions do not jeopardize the health and safety of your community,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. “The Governor’s Executive Orders were put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and the SLA will not hesitate to take emergency action against bars found in violation of these lifesaving directives.”
The emergency suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan, and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a meeting of the Full Board, conducted by a digitally recorded video conference call under social distancing guidelines, on May 13, 2020. The Full Board found that it could have no confidence that this licensee would obey the EO going forward.State Liquor Authority
O’Dell urges other businesses to view his experience as a warning.
“To the other businesses, if you are doing it, you are going to get caught, you are going to get in trouble, use me as an example not to do what I did,” O’Dell said.