Liquor license for Toku Modern Asian suspended a second time

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Toku Modern Asian saw its liquor license suspended a second time for multiple COVID-19 safety violations. (Photo via Poll Brothers Restaurants)

Toku Modern Asian, a popular Asian fusion restaurant in the Americana Manhasset had its liquor license suspended for the second time in six months following violations relating to COVID-19, according to the State Liquor Authority and the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The restaurant, owned by Poll Restaurants, had previously seen its liquor license suspended on Sept. 12 due to overcrowding, and was reinstated after its owners paid a $25,000 fine.

But on Feb. 12, investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed 175 patrons crowded inside the premises, over two times the maximum occupancy under COVID-related regulations.

The announcement came from a statement issued by Cuomo’s office on Wednesday, which announced the restaurant as one of 23 bars and restaurants in New York State whose liquor licenses were suspended after finding egregious violations of pandemic-related Executive Orders.

The restaurant was the first establishment on the North Shore to have its license revoked due to violations of COVID-19 restrictions in September.

According to the authority, the restaurant had its license suspended following an excessive amount of patrons, going against the Department of Health’s indoor seating guidelines, and allowing patrons to purchase drinks at the indoor bar and take them outside.

In October, Leonard’s of Great Neck had its license revoked after hosting a wedding with 100 to 120 guests, at least double the 50-person limit on nonessential gatherings. Cabo Sports Bar and Mexican Grill in New Hyde Park followed in December, with investigators stating that rules regarding attendance and facial coverings were violated.

Businesses found in violation of COVID-19 regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant’s liquor license. The governor’s office said that 393 liquor licenses in the state have been suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.

Toku, which opened in 2007, is owned by Poll Restaurants, which is headed by brothers George and Gillis Poll.

The company also owns and operates other restaurants on the North Shore, including Hendrick’s Tavern and Bryant & Cooper in Roslyn, Bar Frites in Greenvale, and Cipollini, also located in the Americana. Efforts to reach the company for this story were unavailing.

“Thanks to New Yorkers’ hard work, we bent the curve last spring and fought off the holiday surge this winter and if we want the numbers to continue moving in the right direction, we have to keep our guard up and enforce rules that we know keep people safe,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The vast majority of bar and restaurants are following the rules, but we have zero tolerance for those who openly ignore public health measures, putting New Yorkers’ lives at risk — and we will continue to hold them accountable.”

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