Best Pizza and Dive Bar in Amagansett was among the latest in a string of restaurants to have its liquor license suspended after authorities cited the eatery for allegedly violating New York State COVID-19 restrictions.
Undercover officers from the East Hampton Town Police Department reported finding on November 15 about 20 patrons seated at and standing around the crowded bar at the pizzeria while mingling, ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks, all of which are in violation of state orders, according to the State Liquor Authority (SLA).
“Officers ordered and were served alcoholic beverages without food, a violation of COVID-related executive orders, and documented no food being served during the entirety of their inspection,” the SLA said in a statement, alluding to rules that also require patrons order food before being served beer, wine or cocktails. “Bartenders also continually removed their facial coverings to talk to patrons.”
The pizza bar was among six restaurants on Long Island and 36 statewide that had their licenses suspended for similar alleged violations in recent weeks. They are among 279 that have had liquor licenses suspended for such violations since the pandemic restrictions began in the spring.
The pizzeria is not the first on the East End to be caught by members of a statewide joint task force that has been checking restaurants for violations of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders enacting strict rules for restaurants to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The SLA suspended the liquor licenses of two restaurants in Southampton for violations over the summer and North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue in October after the catering venue hosted a 113-guest wedding that led to at least 34 COVID-19 infections.
East Hampton Town Police said the pizza bar is a repeat offender, with charges brought by the SLA days before the latest fines. Best Pizza did not immediately respond to a request for comment.