Williamsburg tavern sues state for unfair COVID-19 regulations
An East Williamsburg tavern is suing the state for what it says is unfair regulations..
The Graham will be asked to close at midnight, but it says the state hasn’t given a good reason why.
They say they have complied with the governor's orders — serving food with alcoholic drinks and making sure outdoor dining was properly spaced. But now, the owner, Tov Lutzker, says he is fed up with what he believes to be poor guidance by the state.
The establishment, which caters to many late shift workers currently, has to shut down at 11 p.m. every night due to outdoor dining and it will be asked to close at midnight once indoor dining is allowed.
However, Lutzker says there’s been no real medical data to back up the reasoning for it.
The East Williamsburg business owner says he doesn’t want to put his employees out of a job or leave customers without a social spot if it’s not justified.
A governors spokesperson tells News 12 in a statement, “Bars are closed in ten other states and many -- including Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Washington -- have similar restrictions in place because they recognize that late-night service can encourage individuals to gather and mingle, increasing the risk of COVID transmission. The plaintiff's lawyers are right: this virus is not a vampire -- it is real, it is deadly, and the State will do everything we can to protect New Yorkers from it."
Lutzker says he plans to file an injunction Wednesday, asking the courts to prohibit the governor from enforcing the midnight rule while the lawsuit is in litigation.
News 12 reached out to the governor’s office for a comment and are waiting to hear back.