State suspends liquor license of Oswego bar citing 'egregious violations'

The Ferris Wheel in Oswego.

OSWEGO - The Ferris Wheel's liquor license has been suspended as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday the popular bar allegedly engaged in "egregious violations of pandemic-related" executive orders.

According to a release citing investigative work done Friday by the State Liquor Authority (SLA), Cuomo said the state would hold accountable "bad actors who put public health in danger" and crack down on those who "openly flout the rules."

"We will not tolerate (bars and pubs) putting yourselves, your customers, your employees, your neighbors and our re-opening at risk," Cuomo said in a statement.

Current SLA and New York State Department of Health regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 mandate that bars and restaurants maintain six-foot spacing between customers and facemasks must be worn by all patrons. All establishments must keep capacity under 50 percent, according to SLA and health department information.

According to Saturday's release, the Ferris Wheel allegedly did not adhere to most if not all of the state's pandemic restrictions.

Based on "numerous complaints," state investigators visited the Ferris Wheel, located at 6 Market St., Oswego, on Aug. 28 and "observed approximately 15 patrons lined up outside the bar."

Then, officials say, "the line quickly grew to approximately 25 people, several of whom were observed without facemasks and ignoring all social distancing."

Once inside the bar, agents allegedly found COVID containment protocols violated in an even more flagrant manner.

SLA investigators allegedly discovered "between 40-50 patrons on the second floor, consuming alcohol in complete disregard of social distancing and face covering regulations." There was also allegedly no food served at the Ferris Wheel, violating another state order that to serve alcohol, an establishment must have a functioning kitchen or otherwise have food options available for patrons.

The Ferris Wheel had been issued its liquor license on July 8, 2020, according to state officials. Attempts to reach a Ferris Wheel representative by phone were not immediately successful.

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