An Asian fusion restaurant in the Americana Manhasset had its liquor license suspended last week following violations relating to COVID-19, according to the State Liquor Authority (SLA).
The SLA’s three-person Board of Commissioners voted to suspend the license of Toku Modern Asian at 2014C Northern Blvd. in Manhasset in a special meeting last week. The move came following an investigation at the restaurant on Sept. 11 by SLA and State Police investigators, according to a statement from Audrey Ruffinen, deputy director of public affairs for the SLA, to Blank Slate Media.
“Investigators with the state’s multi-agency task force observed a long line of patrons not socially distanced waiting to enter the premises, with just a handful wearing face-masks,” Ruffinen said.
The investigators documented 118 patrons inside the premises, while Toku has a maximum occupancy of 90, under the Department of Health’s indoor guidelines. About 67 patrons were in the outside dining area, which has a maximum occupancy of 32. Numerous patrons were also observed buying drinks from the bar without food and taking them outside to consume.
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. A total of 201 restaurants and bars across the state have had their liquor licenses revoked for similar reasons since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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.
The revoking of Toku’s liquor license is only the latest development to befall a Poll restaurant. In April, a former Bryant & Cooper employee was charged with embezzling from the steakhouse, and in June a fight broke out in the outdoor dining area in Cipollini. The company has yet to comment on either incident.
Efforts to reach Poll Restaurants and the Americana Manhasset for comment were unavailing.