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Citing Gang Violence, State Yanks Liquor License from Cigar Bar

Posted on 22 January 2010

web cigar bar

Reports of gang violence and police complaints of selling alcohol to minors have garnered a suspension of the liquor license for a Sag Harbor bar.

The New York State Liquor Authority yanked the Cigar Bar’s license during a special emergency meeting today, Friday, January 22. The bar has recently been the site of several arrests for assault.

“If you allow violence in your bar we are going to take away your license” said SLA CEO Trina Mead. “The members of the Liquor Authority sent a clear message today that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

According to the release, reports from the Sag Harbor Village Police Department “documented five separate violent attacks, occurring from October 2009 to present, attacks including the victims being stabbed and slashed.  Based on the recent history of escalating violence at the premises including the gang related assaults involving weapons, the persistent pattern of sale to minor, the numerous fights and ensuing arrests, as well as the drain on police department resources, the Members of the SLA voted for an emergency suspension of the license. Effective immediately, no alcohol can be served or consumed on the premises.”

Most recently, the report stated, a fight involving 30 to 40 members of opposing gangs broke out in the bar last Saturday, January 16, spilling out onto the street.

The melee necessitated the village police to call for backup from Southampton and East Hampton town police departments.

On December 29, 2009 Sag Harbor Police responded to a fight involving three minors who had been consuming alcohol at the bar for hours prior to the incident, according the report. Four siblings, who were subsequently arrested, reportedly attacked the three minors, one of whom was knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked. Again, the Sag Harbor Police Department summoned the East Hampton Police to assist and help control the violence. Police department reports also noted that the bartender made no effort to contact the police or address the situation.

And on October 29, 2009 at 3:00 a.m., according to the release, another fight broke out inside the bar. One victim was taken to the hospital where he was treated for multiple fractures to his face requiring surgery. Again, the bartender on duty made no attempt to stop the fight and failed to contact police, said the report.

When contacted by telephone on Friday evening, a man identifying himself as the bartender said he was unaware of the SLA’s action. The owner of the business had not returned the call prior to this post.

The SLA’s decision to summarily suspend a license is not a final determination on the merits of the case, said the release. The licensee is entitled to an expedited hearing before an administrative law judge to address the alleged violation(s) that led to the suspension. An order of summary suspension remains in effect until such time as it is modified by the State Liquor Authority or reviewing court.

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12 Responses to “Citing Gang Violence, State Yanks Liquor License from Cigar Bar”

  1. Average Man says:

    As a resident of the Village, I suggest that the REAL issue is why are 30 “gang memebers” IN Sag Harbor? Do they LIVE here, do they have summer homes here? Do they come in to town on the Luxury Liner? I have always thought that the local police presence was sufficient…is it?
    Like graffiti…gangs need to be wiped out fast and every time they raise their ugly head..What do YOU think?

  2. Elementary School Parent #1 says:

    I think they came from Southampton because they knew they could drink (some underage and all until 4am) at Cigar Bar. Also, people buy drugs on the Bridge/Sagg turnpike so hanging at a bar relatively close is attractive.

    Think Corner Bar would put up with these punks? Heck no

  3. Another Parent says:

    Oh, come on! Have we not all known for years that the Cigar Bar serves underage patrons? Have we not heard of incidents that have occurred on or near the premisis and known they were somehow related to the questionable operation of that establishment? Have we not read in the Express or heard on WLNG about the DUI arrests of our own children’s underage classmates and known those kids drank at the Cigar Bar? Of course gangs crawl into the unattended cracks and crevices of society! Big cheers for the Sag Harbor Police Dept for addressing the problem and bringing it to the State. Let’s hope the State will address this bar in the manner in which it needs to be addressed.

  4. Art says:

    I believe the root of all these problems is the result of the owners apathy. She is a nice person who has clearly lost interest in taking the necessary measures to keep the bar operating in a responsible manner. The careless attitude is transferred through the employees and the patrons pick up on it. Before you know it big problems develop and things go quickly out of control. Running a bar is serious business and even good places run into trouble. With lax control we should be grateful no one has lost their life. Going forward if the bar is allowed to reopen a new more responsible attitude as well as an experienced bouncer would be welcomed change.

  5. Mac says:

    The people of Sag Harbor know this problem exists yet every one looks the other way. Well now you have a major problem because this is no longer an alcoholic problem among “Teenagers”. You have a choice of burying your head in the sand or backing your PD and asking your legislators for help. If you don’t Sag Harbor will become like Patchogue or Centereach ETC. ETC.
    Remember bad eople come from some of the finest families. Don’t wait too long.

  6. Average Man says:

    To Sag Harbor Parent: Right! Why isnt it being discussed openly? And that is the real issue, that and the GANG angle…the Gang stuff is not likely locals…yet. And the combination of a poorly run bar and the 7-11 is just too comfortable for troublemakers. Although I appreciate the convenioence of 7-11 it seems to attract a transient crowd; I wonder if maybe the CVS would not have been so bad…

  7. Anonymus99 says:

    Gangs in the Hampton’s? Are you kidding me? Apparently any “of color” or minority group is seen as a gang. I was in Cigar Bar a few weeks ago when a group of cops came in and just stood there eye-ing every African American person that entered the bar. What is this 1960??? it’s the year 2010 people. I didn’t know that such blatant racism still existed in this town. It truly saddens me.

  8. Harbor23 says:

    Is it not fair to say that there is underage drinking everywhere in this town?
    Why not place some of the blame on the underage drinkers and the parent themselves for not keeping a closer eye on their children instead of singling out one local bar?
    We all know the reason other bars in the Harbor aren’t looked badly upon by the PD and other law enforcement…it’s called Politics and Agenda

  9. Caring Mom says:

    I agree with some of what Harbor 23 says…but believe it or not, there ARE parents who advocate for underage drinking in bars, yes folks, right here in Sag Harbor/Shelter Island, thinking it is okay as it was “okay for them when they where 18.” What a load of bs, these parents would rather see their child mangled, or behind bars (not the ones that serve alcohol). I don’t think it was a matter of P & A, I believe it was a matter of safety, for our children, and our community. WAKE UP FOLKS!!! Pay attn to what your kids are doing, what they are doing, and what they are doing it with…BRAVO, NYS Liquor Authority!

  10. Caring Mom says:

    Correction: I meant “Who they are doing it with…” And, I hope the NYS LA continues to remove the licenses from every other restaurant/bar that cares more about money, than they do our community.

  11. New Comer says:

    I am confused…I am a parent here and have never heard of “gangs” out here? Can someone explain? What is the name of this so called gang, the ages, the race (no i am not racist, but i do want to know…). I honestly have never heard of gangs here?

  12. m.gaffe says:

    I used to have great(and safe) times at the cigar bar many moons ago..not sure where these ‘gangs’ popped up from. I have to agree with ‘new comer’, I’ve lived in sag harbor for five years and now live and work in Southampton. Overall I’ve been out here for almost twenty years and was surprised to read about gang violence.. anyway it’s old news now and as ‘Art’ says above, operating a bar is a serious business and it is obvious that the owner was no longer in a position to carry such responsibilities…I would love to see an entirely new venue pop up..maybe an elegant wine bar of some sorts, who is a great location and it is a shame to have it sit empty for this long…

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