UPDATED on 15 September 2020, 14:52: The Brooklyn House aims to push a stake in Midnight’s ban on Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In a federal lawsuit, Graham at 151 Meserole Street in Williamsburg claims that the coronavirus “does not behave like a vampire, infects others only when the moon is out.”
The bar’s September 14 complaint in East York’s Eastern District states that it is “desperately trying to pay rent” and that the curfew sucks the life out of its business by limiting dining hours.
Like every restaurant in the state, Graham was ordered to close his gates from guests from March 17. Cuomo finally allowed the resumption of indoor dining in New York on September 30, but limited the number of restaurants to 25 percent capacity and midnight closing time.
That was another nail to Graham coffin, states the lawsuit, following a series of unpredictable orders by Cuomo, including that food must be served with drinks and that chicken wings do not count. (The chicken rule was relaxed a few days later by the State Spirits Office.)
The restaurant fluttered its wings over Cuomo’s “innumerable ever-changing and impracticable rules,” which give restaurants no chance to comply until they were fined for “hypertechnical violations that didn’t exist a few days earlier.”
Since March, the state has suspended liqueur licenses for 168 businesses and filed 926 lawsuits against businesses for violating local regulations and failing to comply with Cuomo’s various executive regulations, according to the State Liqueur Authority. Graham is not listed among the punished.
Although the rules were difficult, the court acknowledged that they mostly responded to coronavirus. But a midnight curfew, the suit said, does not help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“The state has not explained why this rule is necessary, why it is imposed on New York and not on the rest of the state, and why it continues to issue rules without working with its industrial partners to solve problems,” said Jonathan Corbett, a Hollywood civil rights lawyer in California, who filed Graham’s complaint.
Thanks to the midnight ban on dinner, dining is even more dangerous because customers can get to any time window, the lawsuit states. Cuomo said dining in a room contributes to the spread of the virus, in part because people stay in restaurants for hours. The curfew is an attempt to limit it.
A governor spokesman noted that bars are closed in 10 states, while others – including Rhode Island, North Carolina and Washington – have similar restrictions as New York. “The plaintiff’s lawyers are right: This virus is not a vampire – it is real, it is deadly and the state will do everything in its power to protect the New Yorkers from it,” the spokesman said.
The lawsuit seeks the annulment of the rule and requires court costs and legal fees.
In August, more than 300 restaurants applied for class action status against the city and state, and demanded that they say goodbye. $ 2 billion make up for the ban on dining inside.
This story has been reworked to include a statement from the governor’s office.