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Erie County planning more inspections of bars, restaurants

The latest bar to be shut down for not following coronavirus-related orders is Kaz's on Lake Avenue in Blasdell.

BLASDELL, N.Y. — Another bar has been shutdown by the Erie County Health Department for failure to follow coronavirus-related rules.

This news comes as Governor Andrew Cuomo called on police departments across the state to address congregating issues in bars and restaurants. 

The Erie County Health Department has shutdown several bars and restaurants this month saying establishments violated capacity, social distancing and mask orders.

Those establishments include The Stage in Clarence and The Cowboy in Buffalo.

The latest bar to be shutdown, earlier this week, is Kaz’s on Lake Avenue in Blasdell. The county says the bar violated COVID-related rules repeatedly.

An inspection report from earlier this month says customers were found walking around drinking with no masks on, and customers actually started to yell at inspectors, telling them to leave and to be ashamed of themselves.

"We had some issues with not only Kaz’s but other places where our department of health inspectors have been treated very poorly, such that we have had to show up with sheriff’s deputies because they’ve been harassed. They’ve been basically told to go where the sun doesn’t shine," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. 

Kaz's has submitted a corrective action plan, which is being reviewed, and needs to be approved in order for the bar to reopen.

Erie County’s health commissioner says inspectors are prepping to make uninvited visits.

"Our sanitarians are preparing to go out this weekend so what we’re doing we’re collecting complaints we’re receiving from the public from employees, people invited to these social gatherings and we’re also scouring the website to look for these events," Dr. Gale Burstein said.

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo called on police agencies across the state to enforce COVID-related orders.

"We need the local government to do it. We need the NYPD. We need the Nassau police. We need the Suffolk police in the Hamptons. We need the Erie County police. We need the Albany police to do their job," Cuomo said.

"The main problem are bars, restaurants because 21 to 30, you don’t just have a gathering on a street corner and do bird-watching. Alcohol is also involved."

Here in Erie County, officials say since March, more than 1,600 complaints have been received on bars and restaurants -- about 25 to 35 complaints per day.

The county has said those in the 20 to 29-year-old age range are testing positive for COVID, more than any other age group, and that contact tracing has shown people are getting sick at parties and crowded establishments.

If you have a complaint of a restaurant or bar not following COVID-related guidelines you can contact the Erie County Health Department.

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