Two separate Mohawk Valley establishments have had their liquor licenses suspended by the New York State Liquor Authority following 'undisclosed' investigative visits.

During one of its daily hearings on Saturday, the three-member Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Board voted unanimously to summarily suspend the licenses Dick Smith's Tavern on Schuyler Street in Utica, and Side Street on Otsego Street in Mohawk after being presented with the findings from two investigators who conducted the ''undisclosed visits'' on Friday night, August 14.

Video of SLA Special Full Board Meeting on August 15, 2020.

During the visits, investigators claim they witnessed very similar violations to Governor Cuomo's executive orders relating to new regulations for bars and restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic. They report customers at both Dick Smith's and Side Street (reflected in state documentation as Gadget Creek Road LLC) congregating in large groups and say none of the patrons were wearing face coverings. They say at one bar, Dick Smith's, the bartender was also not wearing a mask, while an employee at Side Street wore a mask across their chin, not covering the mouth or nose.

Also, investigators say they ''purchased two Coors Light beers'' at each establishment and at neither location were they ''required or even requested'' to purchase food.

''To protect the health, safety, and welfare of patrons, employees, their families and the community as a whole,'' all three commissioners on the ABC Board voted to suspend the liquor license of each.

The SLA's General Counsel, Gary Meyerhoff, described photos taken from inside Dick Smith's during the undisclosed visit as having the potential to be a 'super spreader' incident, saying that if just one of the patrons or employee in the bar was positive for COVID-19, they could have easily infected more than two dozen others, he said.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Vincent Bradley noted that the violations witnessed in the two Mohawk Valley bars were very similar.

''This is identical to the last one....'' Bradley said after reviewing the investigators' reports of Side Street, which followed the board's review of the report submitted for Dick Smith's.

''...based on the pictures this is absolutely pathetic. Counsel (Meyerhoff) used the words circumventing the executive orders, they're not circumventing them they're blatantly ignoring them. I don't see one mask anywhere in any of these pictures, {not} even just sitting on the bar. They are acting as if there is absolutely no risk to anyone. There is no choice here but to summarily suspend,'' Bradley said.

WIBX 950 has reached out to the owners of each establishment for comment.

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