Clifton Bar Accused By State Of Violating COVID Rules

Carly Baldwin

CLIFTON, NJ — A Clifton restaurant/bar is facing a temporary loss of its liquor license for allegedly violating Gov. Murphy's COVID regulations.

The bar is Sarina's Bar, a sports bar in Clifton. The New Jersey Attorney General said it exceeded occupancy limits, allowed customers to sit at the bar and also did not require face coverings to be worn at all times. Undercover state inspectors visited the bar at the end of November and announced the violations this week.

Also this week, Murphy vetoed a bill that would have given New Jersey bars and restaurants more freedom to serve patrons outdoors, even in winter.

"As we've said before: We take no pleasure in undertaking these actions, but we're in the midst of a pandemic and we need everyone in the state to do their part to combat a surge in COVID-19," said NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

The 10 p.m. curfew is still in place for all New Jersey bars and restaurants, and no patrons can physically sit at the bar. Also, customers and employees must wear face coverings at all times. Capacity is also limited to 25 percent of the establishment's indoor capacity.

Charges have been issued against the following establishments:

  • Sarina’s Bar, Clifton. Cited for allowing patrons to consume alcohol while standing in a bar area; violating face-covering requirements; and for exceeding occupancy limits. Penalty sought: 25-day suspension.

  • Bar El Anochecer, Passaic. Cited for allowing patrons to be served while standing in a bar area, seated at a bar, and/or and not seated at a table; and for failing to enforce social distancing. Penalty sought: 20-day suspension.

  • Sports Bar Inn, Passaic. Cited for allowing patrons to be served while standing in a bar area, seated at a bar, and/or and not seated at a table; and for failing to enforce social distancing. Penalty sought: 20-day suspension.

  • Six26, Jersey City. Cited for violating 10 p.m. curfew and face-cover requirements; and for exceeding limit on number of patrons seated at a table. Also cited for hindering an investigation and allowing smoking indoors. Penalty sought: 85-day suspension.

Since March, the state of New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control has initiated enforcement actions against more than 200 bars for breaking COVID rules. Those actions have delivered warnings, and sought fines, license suspensions and total loss of a liquor license.

This article originally appeared on the Secaucus Patch