Sept. 27, By Tara Law
A Long Island City bodega that has a history of selling alcohol to minors has lost its license to sell booze, the State Liquor Authority announced Wednesday.
Ali Kasem Al-Awdi, the owner of KNA Food Market at 24-02 34th Avenue, is no longer permitted to sell alcohol at the store following four separate incidences—leading to arrests–where he or his employees sold alcohol to minors in the last eight months.
“This licensee has displayed an alarming indifference to the law and a dangerous pattern of behavior that puts young people within his community at serious risk,” said Christopher R. Riano, counsel to the SLA, in a statement.
The arrests began on Jan. 13, when an NYPD underage agent bought two beers from an employee while Al-Awdi was at the store. The employee was arrested and criminally charged.
Then on March 3 and March 25, Al-Awdi was arrested for selling alcohol to underage agents.
The police discovered that Al-Awdi had three outstanding bench warrants following his March 3 arrest and that he had failed to report his previous arrests to the SLA, thereby violating the license requirement.
KNA Food Market was charged on Sept. 21 with seven violations of the Alcohol and Beverage Control Law, which included four counts of selling to minors and failure to exercise adequate supervision over the premises.
The bodega’s difficulties with the authorities go back years. On Sept. 25, 2013, the SLA fined the market $4,500 for selling to a minor and for selling alcohol through an outside window.
The police have been clamping down on the store and have increased their presence in the area as a means to combat crime at Ravenswood Houses, according to Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, the former commanding officer for the 114th Precinct.