Management at a corner deli tucked into the back of an East Patchogue shopping center has found itself in trouble with both the state over COVID-19 issues, and the Suffolk County Police Department.
Plaza Papo’s Deli was listed in a Governor Andrew Cuomo press release Friday as one of two Patchogue locations recently alleged to have partook in “egregious violations of coronavirus-related regulations.”
The deli joins the ranks of Off Key Tikki, which saw its liquor license revoked following complaints of social distancing violations, according to the state.
The deli and mini-market is located at 350-26 East Main Street, within the shopping plaza that’s just east of Evergreen Avenue.
According to Cuomo’s office, on Aug. 29, following a sting where an underage agent with the Suffolk County Police Department was able to purchase alcohol at Plaza Papo’s Deli, an investigator with the state’s multi-agency task force entered the store.
The deli is not permitted to serve alcohol for on-premises consumption, however the agent observed 10 patrons “drinking alcohol, listening to music and watching TV in the rear of the premises,” the press release reads.
“The investigator also discovered illicit prescription drugs for sale behind the counter and the Suffolk County Police arrested the manager for criminal diversion of prescription medication.”
A phone number listed for Plaza Papo’s Deli was out of service.
Cuomo on Friday reported suspended liquor licenses for 33 additional establishments in New York State, bringing the total number of liquor licenses suspended during the coronavirus pandemic to 201.
Businesses found in violation of COVID-19 regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant’s liquor license.
“New Yorkers have worked together to stop the spread of coronavirus — but with our infection rate hovering around 1 percent and the threat of a second wave on the horizon, we must double down on the successful strategies that have helped us over the last six months,” Cuomo said.
Here’s what the governor’s release said about Off Key Tikki:
Following complaints of social distancing violations, the SLA issued a warning to the licensee to cease and desist on August 25. Less than a week later, on August 29, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed seven patrons standing in the outdoor service area without facial coverings and ignoring social distancing regulations.
The following night, investigators returned finding several patrons standing, consuming alcohol and mingling about the bar area inside the premises without facial coverings, multiple patrons seated at the bar not spaced 6 feet apart, multiple employees without facial coverings, and multiple patrons exiting the premises with open containers.