NEW YORK – Greek-American brothers and restaurateurs George and Gillis Poll were featured in New York Newsday after receiving an unwelcome Valentine’s Day gift, the suspension of the liquor license at their Manhasset restaurant, Toku Modern Asian.
The suspension is the second for the restaurant, Newsday reported, adding that New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) investigators on February 12 “observed 175 patrons crowded inside the premises, over two times the maximum occupancy under COVID-related regulations.”
The Poll brothers “dispute the charges,” Newsday reported.
“They counted 175 people on Friday night," Gillis Poll told Newsday, "but that was including employees. We now have security guards to make sure people are wearing masks. The truth is we were about 24 people over at the time — with people leaving and coming in.”
George Poll told Newsday that “they make us look like we have no respect, no concern for safety. We have installed MERV filters and UV lights and are doing everything we can.”
He noted that “the charges put their business in a bind; having to pay rent and the staff without the benefit of liquor sales until the matter is resolved,” Newsday reported, adding that “the more you defend yourself… the longer the license remains suspended.”
“Toku, located at the Americana Manhasset shopping center, was first charged by the SLA on September 12; the brothers paid a $25,000 fine to have the license reinstated a few weeks later,” Newsday reported.
“The Poll brothers dominate Nassau’s North Shore dining scene with Toku and Cipollini in Manhasset, Bryant & Cooper and Hendrick’s Tavern in Roslyn, Bar Frites in Greenvale and Major’s in East Meadow,” Newsday reported, adding that “in 2018, they opened The Bryant in South Huntington.”
George Poll told Newsday, “My brother and I have held liquor licenses since 1980. We respect them and our customers.”