SLA Suspends Liquor License for Sunset Park’s Blue Martini 39 Lounge

November 21, 2018 Jaime DeJesus
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Sunset Park bar Blue Martini 39 Lounge, 314 39th Street, had its liquor license suspended by the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) during a full board meeting on Tues., Nov. 20

The stoppage was ordered by SLA Chairperson Vincent Bradley, and Commissioners Lily Fan and Greeley Ford.

The liquor license suspension, according to the SLA, followed an incident on Sat., Nov. 10, in which a highly intoxicated patron leaving the bar was fatally struck by a car.

Authorities said that at around 1:16 a.m., the victim was crossing Third Avenue near 39th Street when he was hit by a black 2016 Chevy Camaro operated by a 20-year-old man.

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When cops arrived, they saw the victim on the ground with severe head trauma.

EMS rushed the victim to NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn.

According to a police source, surveillance video showed that the victim had been served too much alcohol before he was thrown out of the establishment and struck by the car.

“There is actually video in regards to this,” said the source. “It’s not for public consumption, but we felt the story should be told.  On the video, it shows the man that was run over was passed out inside the bar earlier. I guess he regained consciousness, and they’re still serving him liquor after he came to. Shortly after, you see them escorting him out. They’re literally grabbing him and kicking him out. You see him walk out the club and I kid you not, about 15 seconds later, you see the impact when he gets hit by the car. He got overserved. The guy ended up dying. His brother-in-law was with him at the time. But he wasn’t hit by the car.”

Following up on the incident, on Fri., Nov. 16, the SLA and officers from the NYPD conducted an inspection, resulting in the SLA charging the licensee with 17 violations, including “two counts of selling to an intoxicated patron, employing unlicensed bouncers, failing to permit an inspection, failure to maintain books and records, in addition to seven codes violations, operating a disorderly premises and failure to supervise.”

According to the SLA’s attorney, Christopher Riano, “This licensee has not only ignored the laws concerning selling to intoxicated individuals, minors and after-hours sales, but she has also refused to cooperate with the police on multiple occasions.”

By taking action, Riano added, “The authority has shown that any establishment that continues to ignore the law and strain police resources, and particularly those that overserve their patrons to the point where those patrons are in life-threatening danger, will be shut down immediately.”

The SLA determined that the licensee had a recent pattern of selling alcohol in a reckless manner.

“Based on referrals from the NYPD, the SLA currently has three pending cases against the Blue Martini 39 Lounge, including selling to a minor on Sept. 21, 2018, failure to permit an inspection on Sept. 1, 2018 and for selling alcohol after 4 a.m. on Aug. 4, 2018,” said the SLA in a statement. “These cases are currently pending before the SLA.”

The police source said that the bar owner recently surrendered his liquor license.

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