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State denies liquor licenses for two Riverhead restaurants

Two downtown Riverhead restaurants lost liquor licenses during a meeting of the New York State Liquor Authority last month.

Sabor Centro Americano Deli & Restaurant at 1005 East Main St., which operates at the location previously occupied by Royal Dorado, was denied a liquor license by the SLA Jan. 10, because it failed to attend the SLA meeting at which the license application was being reviewed. 

“I vote deny because there’s just too much history here,” SLA chairman Vincent Bradley said last month. “I have a lot of questions here and nobody showed up.”

The Royal Dorado had turned in its liquor license in September 2016 after two violent assaults and nine other incidents occurred there in 2016. The SLA also said there were two unlicensed bouncers and numerous other violations against the previous owner of the business, DAP Inc.

But Heysi Escobar, owner of Sabor Centro Americano,said she’s being unfairly blamed for the actions of the prior business. She plans to reapply for the liquor license. The restaurant currently serves only soda and energy drinks.

“It’s not fair,” she said Tuesday. “I will not be able to maintain this restaurant without a liquor license. I had nothing to do with what happened in the past.”

Ms. Escobar said that when she took over the business in October, she was not aware of what had happened there under the previous owner.

El Caracol Deli at 122 Griffing Ave. also had its liquor license canceled last month and was fined $3,500.

The licensee, Alcides Arias of Brentwood, pleaded no contest to earlier charges and had surrendered the liquor license on May 22, 2017.

At that time, the SLA said the business exceeded permitted hours of operation, illegally operated as a night club, with a disc jockey and dancing, and had security guards, which they were not permitted to do.

On Jan. 10, the SLA board found that, in a separate incident on Dec. 17, 2016, El Caracol had allowed the premises to become disorderly in violation of the state Alcohol Beverage Control law.

The business is allowed to remain open but cannot sell alcohol, according to SLA spokesman Bill Crowley.

The owners of El Caracol could not be reached for comment.

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