State news

New Haven shuts down bar after witnessing event with more than 1,000 patrons

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - New Haven officials have shut down a city bar after more than 1,000 patrons were witnessed late Saturday, a violation of the state’s reopening rules for outdoor dining and outdoor events, as well as various health codes.

In a statement released Monday by Mayor Justin Elicker’s office, Building Inspector Jim Turcio said he saw the patrons firsthand and asked the owners of 50’s Lounge LLC to close but they refused. Bars have not yet been allowed to open in Connecticut.

“We spoke to the owners of this establishment and made a request that they shut down immediately, with which they did not comply, and we had no choice but to shut them down as a result of these violations,” Turcio said.

Joy Monsanto, who owns the establishment, says the event was held to celebrate Juneteenth and no one was inside the bar.

“So there wasn’t a thousand people in the establishment,” Monsanto said. “There may have been people sprinkled throughout the parking lot.”

The city’s health director issued a cease and desist letter to the owners, alleging numerous violations including failing to ensure the attendees at a large outdoor public gathering remained at least 6 feet apart; failing to ensure they were wearing face masks except when dining; permitting the sale of alcohol without the sale of food; and operating in excess of 50% capacity on an outside deck, among other violations.


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