Bushwick venue House of Yes had reopened for "outdoor drinks & food in a seated, limited capacity, socially-distanced environment," but now they've had to close their doors, after having their liquor license suspended by the State Liquor Authority. They announced the news on Facebook, writing that they were also cited for the volume of the music they were playing, and for the presence of "a few individual people within our perimeter who were not perfectly following safety guidelines." Here's their message in full:
Pandemic life just keeps getting weirder.
Unfortunately, our liquor license was suspended yesterday by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) 💔 Therefore, we will be temporarily closed while we focus on doing everything in our power to work with the SLA in good faith to restore our license and reopen.
One big reason for suspension referred to how we were serving food at our outdoor dining area. The latest safety guidelines mandated by the Governor require that food be served alongside alcohol at all bars, and we thought we were complying with these rules by offering food-to-order from our sister restaurant. Unfortunately we learned that this does not comply with the technical requirement of our license.
We were also dinged for the volume of our ambient music, and for a few individual people within our perimeter who were not perfectly following safety guidelines. Safety has always been our #1 priority, and this situation was no different. We tried our absolute best to follow all the guidelines dictated by 4 different agencies, and still somehow came up short.
Although devastating, we know it is temporary. We miss you already. But, in true House of Yes fashion, we are figuring that sh!t out, and we’ll be back in action as soon as possible!
In the meantime, head over to https://linktr.ee/houseofyesnyc to learn how you can support us and stay connected while we're closed ❤️
The report on House of Yes from the Governors' Press Office reads:
On August 21st, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force observed an overcrowded nightclub-like atmosphere directly in front of the premises, with music blasting, and at least thirty patrons consuming alcohol at tables set up less than six feet apart. No food was being served, with the manager admitting the kitchen was non-operational -- a violation of state law since 1964. Investigators also documented an employee without a facial covering and numerous fire and life safety violations.
168 businesses across New York State have had their liquor licenses suspended by the SLA over compliance with COVID-19 guidelines as of August 29. The guidelines have been criticized by some as unnecessarily harsh, including Abby Ehmann, the owner of East Village dive bar Lucky, who launched a petition in July against the requirement that bars serve food.