A NEW York City bar that has been defying Covid restrictions has again broken the rules – as its arrested owner slammed Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Mac’s Public House on Staten Island reopened on Friday around 8.30pm, despite being shut down by local authorities earlier this week.Mac’s Public House co-owner Danny Presti, 34, was arrested on Tuesday after cops shut down the bar on Staten IslandCredit: Fox News Presti said Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn't seem to care about the bar's problemsCredit: AP:Associated Press
Co-owner Danny Presti, 34, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with obstructing government administration, as cops said he was uncooperative, and multiple violations of city and state laws.
Mac’s, which was issued summonses, had branded itself an “autonomous zone” and had continued to allow indoor customers.
The bar on Staten Island is located in a coronavirus “Orange Zone,” which only allows takeaway or outdoor dining.
Indoor dining is not allowed as of November 23 because of a massive uptick in coronavirus infections.Presti at the bar's illegal re-opening on FridayCredit: Getty Images - Getty Scenes from the bar's re-opening on Friday nightCredit: Getty Images - Getty Presti was arrested and charged with obstruction government administration and multiple violations of city and state lawsCredit: AP:Associated Press Supporters are pictured rallying for Mac's on Wednesday nightCredit: EPA
The pub also reportedly received complaints about operating past the 10pm curfew imposed by Cuomo’s executive order.
Last week, Mac’s had its license to sell alcohol removed after cops found 14 people inside the bar eating and drinking.People gathering at Mac's bar despite it being shut downCredit: Getty Images - Getty
As of Thursday, more than 1,100 people died from Covid in the borough, while over 22,000 cases have been reported since March.
Presti’s attorney, Lou Gelormino, told WABC-TV that around 100 customers were inside Mac’s on Friday as it reopened.Deputies are seen blocking Mac's after shutting the pub down earlier this week Credit: Reuters
The attorney said Presti is breaking the law to honor "brothers and sisters in the restaurant business.”
Gelormino said the bar’s owners still haven’t paid Covid summonses – and claimed that hundreds of other small business owners have reached out to him for his help.Staten Island has reported a massive surge in Covid cases and deathsCredit: JEENAH MOON
On Tuesday, plainclothes deputies walked inside Mac’s, ordered food, and paid a $40 mandatory “donation.”
Deputies in uniform then went in and shut the place down and arrested Presti.
Gelormino said since the bar was closed, several elected officials including Congresswoman-elect Nicole Malliotakis, of Staten Island, have reached out in support.People gather outside the pub to show their support against Covid restrictionsCredit: Getty Images - Getty Mac's co-owner Keith McAlarney is seen here speaking outside the Staten Island Bar this weekCredit: JEENAH MOON
“We've pleaded with them to work with us and other small businesses,” he said.
“At this point, we are losing faith, and kind of lost faith in the ability for our local and city governments to help us.”
Presti said while local officials have tried to help, Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio “seem like they don’t want anything.”
“So if they don't give us assistance in some way, or are working with us to get back open in a safe manner, we're going to have to take things into our own hands.”The bar was shut down because it's located in an 'Orange Zone' with a high number of infectionsCredit: Reuters A protester is seen wearing a red MAGA-like hat that reads 'Make Politicians Afraid Again'Credit: Reuters
After Presti’s arrest, Cuomo said on Wednesday that the owner of Mac’s “is learning that actions have consequences.”
“Breaking the law and putting your neighbors' lives at risk during a global pandemic to make a political statement is simply unacceptable,” he said in a statement through a spokesperson.
But Presti argued that New Yorkers “just need in some way to either be assisted or to get our places open and these state agencies and city agencies that come in and threaten to fine us or pull our licenses every single day, it's not right.”
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