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According to a November 10 press release, the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) suspended the license of Rehab Tavern Inc., which does business as The Alley Cat at 23 W. Bridge Street in Oswego. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan and Commissioner Greeley Ford at a full board meeting on November 10, 2021. With immediate effect, alcohol may not be sold or consumed on the premises.
On November 5, investigators from the SLA, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and officers from the Oswego Police Department (OPD) conducted a compliance inspection in Alley Cat. The inspection followed numerous recent complaints about alcohol consumption by minors on the licensed premises.
Around 11:30 p.m. that evening, undercover agents from the SLA entered the premises and found about 100 guests in the bar, most of whom appeared to be minors, with several alcohol users under observation. Based on these observations, the cross-agency team, consisting of the SLA, DMV and OPD, entered the premises and secured it to begin checking the IDs.
The investigation found that 85 guests on the premises, despite the bar’s stated policy of not admitting anyone under 21, had the legal drinking age for drinks purchased from bartenders and four patrons who reported alcoholic beverages from other patrons to have related. Seven of the guests observed or allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages were just 18 years old. DMV investigators and officials of the OPD issued 78 tickets for the possession of a fictitious or fraudulent ID. In addition, SLA investigators found that one of the doormen on duty was not registered as a security guard.
The SLA charged The Alley Cat with 15 violations of the Alcohol Control Act, including 13 cases of sale to minors, unsupervised security and the use of unlicensed security guards. The following quote from Commissioner Bradley was provided in the press release.
“Tackling underage sales is a priority and the SLA will not hesitate to take immediate action against bars that appear to have violated the law,” said Bradley. “We will continue to work with the DMV, Oswego Police Department, and our law enforcement partners across the state to hold licensees accountable.”
The SLA continued in its press release that “Emergency summary suspensions will be imposed when the SLA determines that the continued operation of a licensed company is a threat to public health and safety. Suspension orders are served immediately and remain in effect indefinitely, with the maximum penalty including permanent license revocation and fines of up to $ 10,000 per violation. Licensees subject to immediate suspension are entitled to an immediate hearing by an SLA administrative judge. “
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