[Photos by Stacie Joy]
Maiden Lane had their liquor license reinstated, and they also have new menu offerings.
Maiden Lane, the bar-cafe on the northwest corner of Avenue B and 10th Street, is temporarily closed after a visit by State Liquor Authority operatives on Thursday evening...
According to the legal documents affixed to the cafe's door, "patrons were observed sitting in the licensee's sidewalk cafe with no food other than crackers." The paperwork doesn't cite any other infractions.
As we understand it, there wasn't any warning here. The SLA agent made his or her observations Thursday evening and Maiden Lane was ordered to close later on Friday.
Here's the official allegation via the SLA:
On August 6th, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force observed the restaurant selling alcohol for consumption on the premises and 'to go' with just a 0.5-ounce package of oyster crackers — in flagrant violation of state requirements that substantial food be served to limit mingling in bars. Investigators documented six customers being served at a walk up bar at an outside window, approximately seventeen patrons drinking on the premises with only crackers, and another patron ordering two margaritas served with straws and no food, who then proceeded to walk across the street and get in a car.
Gov. Cuomo's recently enacted mandate directs that bars and restaurants must offer a "substantive" amount of food for patrons sitting outside their establishments ... including bars who previously didn't offer a full menu. Cuomo expounded on what constituted a meal — more than wings! — during a July 23 press conference...
Earlier today, Governor Cuomo said chicken wings are not substantial food for bars to be allowed to sell alcohol. He added that sandwiches were the "lowest level" of substantive food. #Buffalo His comments: pic.twitter.com/zaSXgfEq6S— Stephen Marth (@StephenMarth) July 23, 2020
As some bar owners have said privately, the SLA agents don't even seem to know what the rules are (is a salad a meal?) ... and the enforcements can be at the capricious whim of the agent.
Even before the COVID-19 PAUSE, Maiden Lane had a European-style food menu that included small plates of spreads and dips served with toast or crackers, salads, sandwiches and retail tinned seafood, which they sell through an advertised Tin Shop.
We reached out to Maiden Lane founder Gareth Maccubbin for further comment.
With reporting by Stacie Joy