Oct. 9, 2018 By Tara Law
One of Astoria’s most unruly bars has had its liquor license suspended.
Home Restaurant and Lounge, located at 28-49 Steinway St., is no longer permitted to serve alcohol, the State Liquor Authority announced on Oct. 4. The authority said that it aims to permanently revoke the bar’s license.
The suspension follows 17 violent episodes at the bar since January, including patrons being slashed, women being sexually assaulted and a bouncer punching a customer in the face with brass knuckles.
“This licensee has demonstrated an inability to comply with the law and has taken zero measures to provide for the safety of their patrons,” the SLA said in a statement. “Home has become a continuous source of disorder for the NYPD’s 114th Precinct.”
Monica Marquez, a Home bartender, was sitting idly at the restaurant’s bar on Tuesday afternoon. Marquez said that the restaurant was continuing to serve hookah and food, but that things were difficult since the bar could not serve alcohol.
“It sucks because people come in to drink alcohol, and we can’t serve them,” Marquez said. “And we don’t know when we’re going to get our license back.”
The bar’s owner could not be reached for comment.
Home has had a liquor license for a little over a year, but there have been more than 100 complaints about the establishment through 311 and 911, according Pauline Jannelli, a member of Community Board 1’s Consumer Affairs committee, which reviews liquor license applications.
The most recent incident took place on Sept. 30, when a bouncer working at the bar assaulted a “heavily intoxicated” bar patron, the SLA said. The customer ended up with a broken jaw and other injuries.
Other incidents included a patron slashing another man with a broken bottle on Aug. 8; an unlicensed bouncer caught with a BB gun and gravity knife in front of the premises on March 18; and a bouncer wearing brass knuckles while punching a customer on Jan. 8.
A joint SLA and the NYPD Vice inspection at the bar on March 7 also found 25 violations that led to 19 criminal court summonses.
The day before the bar’s license was revoked, the authority charged Home with three violations of alcoholic beverage control law: operating a disorderly premise, failure to conform with their application, and lack of supervision.
The authority also has three pending cases against the bar for serving intoxicated patrons, employing unlicensed bouncers, and for becoming a focal point for police attention.
The authority’s decision to suspend Home’s license came a few weeks after Community Board 1 unanimously voted against the bar’s request to renew its liquor license.
“Home is a danger to the community, and a drain on the 114 [Precinct],” Jannelli said.