These Middlesex County Bars Violated COVID Rules, State Says

Carly Baldwin

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Bars and restaurants in South River, Old Bridge and a New Brunswick Tex-Mex restaurant are facing a temporary suspension of their liquor license after New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said they violated the governor's orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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 Grewal. “We will not allow a small percentage of bars and restaurants that disregard mitigation measures to jeopardize public health."

Undercover state inspectors visited the bars at the end of November.

The restaurants are:

  • Vintage Wines and Bacchus Bar, Old Bridge. Cited for allowing patrons to be served while sitting at a bar; and for violating face-covering requirements, said state inspectors. Penalty sought: 15-day suspension of liquor license.

  • Fat Cactus Cantina, New Brunswick. Cited for exceeding occupancy limits, said state inspectors. Penalty sought: 10-day suspension.

  • El Tanampa, South River. Cited for allowing patrons to be served while sitting at a bar; and for violating face-covering requirements, said state inspectors. Penalty sought: 15-day suspension.

  • Ria Mar Bar and Restaurant, South River. Cited for allowing patrons to be served while sitting at a bar; and for violating face-covering requirements, said state inspectors. Penalty sought: 15-day suspension.

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.

This article originally appeared on the New Brunswick Patch