March 29, 2021 By Christina Santucci
An Astoria bar that had its liquor license suspended earlier this month for flouting COVID-19 restrictions will be up for review by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) later this week.
Members of the SLA are expected to consider possible disciplinary measures for Rocky McBride’s, at 27-01 23rd Ave., after investigators found the bar had repeatedly failed to comply with pandemic orders.
During a prior meeting on March 19, all three members of the SLA voted to immediately suspend Rocky McBride’s liquor license, following a presentation by an attorney from the SLA Counsel’s Office.
The representative detailed three inspections dating back to August, when the bar was first issued a warning for serving alcohol without food. He also noted that the SLA had received several complaints about Rocky McBride’s, and more than a hundred 311 calls about the bar had been made in 2020.
On March 5, the bar’s owner had submitted a conditional no contest plea to prior violations and promised future compliance of pandemic orders.
But investigators said they found at least 20 mostly maskless people standing outside of the tavern on St. Patrick’s Day, staff wearing masks improperly and a musician playing the bagpipes, which is not permitted under the bar’s liquor license.
A sign on Rocky McBride’s Sunday afternoon noted that the bar was closed until further notice “due to the amount of staff & customers getting COVID 19.”
Calls to the Rocky McBride’s, as well as a message sent via social media, were not immediately answered.