Leonard’s Palazzo of Great Neck, known for its extravagant setting for weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations, had its liquor license suspended due to violating capacity laws set by the state due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday afternoon that Nassau County Fire Marshal Scott Tusa met with the manager of Leonard’s, located at 555 Northern Blvd., on the evening of Sept. 25 after numerous complaints regarding excessive noise and large gatherings were filed against the venue.
According to Cuomo, the manager told Tusa that the licensee was hosting a wedding with 100-120 guests, at least double the 50-person limit on non-essential gatherings.
Tusa then observed a room inside Leonard’s set up for around 80 people, and another one set up for 120 people and saw guests standing, drinking, and ignoring social distancing measures, according to Cuomo. Tusa reportedly warned the licensee two weeks earlier about occupancy limits.
Efforts to reach a representative from Leonard’s for comment were unavailing.
Cuomo and State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradly said there has been a general increase in restaurants and small businesses adhering to the health and safety measures implemented due to the pandemic.
The two stressed the importance of following the state-mandated guidelines so that businesses do not have to deal with even more setbacks in respective efforts to combat the pandemic’s hardship.
“Rules are only as good as enforcement, and as we have ramped up checks on bars and restaurants, compliance has increased, creating a safer environment for everyone,” Cuomo said. “A small number of business owners still don’t think the rules apply to them — even in focus zones where the state has tracked increased spread — and these suspensions should serve as a reminder that we will take action against those who callously put New Yorkers in harm’s way.”
“The increase in compliance we’ve seen is encouraging but not surprising, given the fact the overwhelming majority of bar and restaurant owners are hardworking, conscientious operators that put the health of their employees, patrons, and communities first,” Bradley said. “However, as the risks associated with non-compliance by just a few bad actors remains high, the task force will continue our work to ensure a handful of reckless business owners do not halt or reverse our state’s progress.”
Officials said Leonard’s officially had its’ liquor license revoked on Sept. 30. Specific details on how long the license will be suspended and how much of a fine Leonard’s is required to pay to the state are unknown, but officials said suspension orders are served immediately and remain in effect indefinitely.
The maximum penalty an establishment faces is a permanent revocation of their liquor license and a fine upwards of $10,000 per violation. Leonard’s was part of 21 bars and restaurants who had their license revoked from Sept. 30 and Oct. 21, according to officials.