First, we want to thank you for your continued support while the restaurant industry and New York as a whole continue to face the challenges presented by Covid-19. Through delivery, pick-up, and outdoor seating (rain or shine), you have been there for us as we adapt to new ways of being there for you. In these unprecedented times, we have remained dedicated to offering the safest possible return to normalcy for our customers and staff alike. Despite our efforts, we have been suspended by the State Liquor Authority for the use of our open-door cafe. We have started this campaign to offset legal fees involved with this issue as well as support our staff while we recover from the loss of business we will face due to this suspension. See details below
On July 30th, the New York State Liquor Authority (the SLA) suspended the liquor license of Hi- Life Bar and Grill located on 83rd st and Amsterdam Avenue. The suspension was based on the ongoing guidelines put in place for outdoor dining due to the Corona-virus.
During this very difficult time, which is uncharted territory for most of us, we have tried our hardest to comply with such guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff and customers; however, according to the SLA, the use of our outdoor cafe atrium falls under a violation (indoor seating) which meant automatic suspension of our license.
We were under the misunderstanding that when guidelines were modified to include street seating with solid overhead covering, i.e. tents, that seating in the cafe was in compliance. In the attached image below, the French doors completely open up and every table is divided with Plexiglas but due to the fixed roof in place it constituted the area as being indoors.
Inspectors came by on July 29th and informed us that we cannot use this area. We took action immediately and closed it down but the following day SLA authorities along with the police came with no warning and shut us down. With there being such a huge grey area, we should have at least been given the opportunity to comply.
Hi-Life has been serving its community for over 29 years and owned and operated by a small business owner, Earl Geer. We take great pride in the community we serve. We are the only bar on the UWS that has faced such harsh penalties which include fines up to $10,000. All donations will go directly into offsetting legal fees and fines as well as maintaining staffing and operations. It will also go towards the large amount of business we are losing out on.
We love what we do and we want to keep serving our amazing and loyal customers. Thank you all for your ongoing support and we will come back from this with your help.
The Hi-life Staff.
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