ASTORIA – Council Member Costa Constantinides, District 22, issued the following statement on July 18 concerning certain bars and restaurants that have allowed patrons to party along major corridors until the early hours of the morning. The Astoria lawmaker called on the City to ramp up enforcement of these establishments, which have disregarded safety measures meant to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Enough is enough. For the last week, we have seen a select few bars think they can flaunt every rule in the book while the City agencies tasked with enforcing them sit idly by. Our streets have descended into pure mayhem, the threat of COVID-19 spreading is dangerously high, and Astoria residents are rightfully furious at the relentless noise that goes into the early hours of the morning. We are in complete chaos and one drunken fight away from a powder keg exploding.
“We understand many bars and restaurants are in dire straits because of the pandemic. With no end of COVID-19 in sight, they’re all trying to make ends meet while they can. They, along with many New Yorkers, deserved more support over the last four months. That’s no excuse, however, for the small few to turn our neighborhood into one giant resort bar. Small businesses deserve our support as much as we deserve for them to be a good neighbor. My office has contacted the State Liquor Authority, the Governor’s Office, and the Mayor about those who continually breach the public trust and will continue to do so when necessary. Every business that flouts the rules has to be shut down — period.
“To those out there partying until sunrise, stop. COVID-19 is still a serious threat, and just because you’re young doesn’t mean you’re invincible. Your arrogance can and will kill anyone you come into contact with. You also must respect the fact that others don’t have the luxury to party until all hours of the morning. They need and deserve a good night’s sleep, without your roughhousing, yelling, or relentless honking.
“The City has categorically failed our neighborhood. A slew of COVID-19 regulations and measures were set up, only for the multi-agency task force created to enforce them remain silent. Where are they? Agencies are tasked with enforcing our rules — it’s time they get outside on our streets. I hope to never see what happened last night occur again.
“Astoria residents deserve to walk down clean streets, safely, and to go to bed without it sounding like a carnival outside. I am sorry that has been taken from them this week, but we are working to ensure they are afforded that basic right.”
Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair of the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on three additional committees: Sanitation, Resiliency, and Technology.
For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.