3 Hells Kitchen Eateries Lose Liquor License For COVID Violations

HELL’S KITCHEN, NY — Three restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen had their liquor licenses suspended by the state this week for violating rules intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.

Taqueria Diana on Ninth Avenue, Sushiva, also on Ninth, and Kochi, on 10th Avenue, all had their licenses suspended by the New York State Liquor Authority after inspectors found unsafe conditions there earlier this month, the state said. They are among 33 restaurants and bars statewide being hit with suspensions this week.

State investigators visited Taqueria Diana on Sept. 2, where they found five customers drinking indoors, violating the city’s ban on indoor dining which has being in place since March. The customers, a bartender and a kitchen employee were not wearing face coverings, the state said.

The state called the Mexican restaurant and bar a “repeat offender,” having previously been knocked for allowing indoor dining in July.

Inspectors visited Sushiva on Sept. 4, where they found six customers eating and drinking inside the Japanese restaurant. Its liquor license had only been issued three months earlier on June 1, the state said.

At Kochi, inspectors on Sept. 7 found about 30 customers and servers inside the Korean restaurant, violating the indoor dining ban. They also reported about 20 customers eating and drinking directly outside the restaurant, breaking social distancing requirements.

The state has now suspended 201 liquor licenses during the pandemic began, part of a crackdown by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in which three violations would result in a restaurant being shut down by the state.

Businesses face fines as high as $10,000 or immediate suspension of their liquor license for violating COVID-19 regulations.

“New Yorkers have worked together to stop the spread of coronavirus — but with our infection rate hovering around 1 percent and the threat of a second wave on the horizon, we must double down on the successful strategies that have helped us over the last six months,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Anna Quinn contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on the Midtown-Hell’s Kitchen Patch

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One of the three inaugural eateries at Fishers Test Kitchen leaves

Fishers Test Kitchen is searching for a new restaurant concept to fill an accelerator space following the departure of Natural State Provision this week.

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The Southern comfort food counter-service concept — one of three in the inaugural cohort at the culinary incubator at the Sun King Innovation Brewery in the Yard at Fishers District that launched in February — was asked to leave, said test kitchen co-founder John Wechsler, though he wouldn’t elaborate.

“We wish them well at King Dough,” he said. “This was time for us to bring another concept in.”

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The move caught Natural State owners Adam and Alicia Sweet off guard, they said in an emailed statement.

“Although our experience with Fishers Test Kitchen has been challenging from the beginning, we remained positive and committed to the initiative. We are very surprised and disappointed by how we’ve been treated, especially for our employees’ sudden job loss during a pandemic,” they said. “We’re regrouping and exploring future opportunities that will be a better fit for Natural State Provisions.” 



a close up of a sandwich on a plate: Free-er Bird, fried chicken thigh, coleslaw, and dijon on a sesame seed bun, $9, from Natural State Provisions at the Fishers Test Kitchen an Sun King Brewery, in The Yard at Fishers District, 9713 District North Drive, Suite #1210, Fishers, Ind., 46037, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.


© Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar
Free-er Bird, fried chicken thigh, coleslaw, and dijon on a sesame seed bun, $9, from Natural State Provisions at the Fishers Test Kitchen an Sun King Brewery, in The Yard at Fishers District, 9713 District North Drive, Suite #1210, Fishers, Ind., 46037, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.

Natural State, which served up fried chicken sandwiches, root beer-glazed pulled pork and collards and was themed for chef Adam Sweet’s native Arkansas, had 11 employees at the Fishers space.



a man standing next to a blender: Natural State Provisions owner Adam Sweet, left, and Ryan Quinn, cook up culinary creations at the Fishers Test Kitchen and Sun King Brewery in The Yard at Fishers District on Feb. 1, 2020.


© Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar
Natural State Provisions owner Adam Sweet, left, and Ryan Quinn, cook up culinary creations at the Fishers Test Kitchen and Sun King Brewery in The Yard at Fishers District on Feb. 1, 2020.

The Sweets, who also own King Dough pizzeria, 452 N. Highland Ave., were approached to join the project 22 days before its launch, replacing another chef who backed out. They’d hoped to grow it into its own brick and mortar.

The culinary accelerator that tech startup advocate Wechsler and local foodie Jolene Ketzenberger started in partnership with the city of Fishers was designed to have chefs try restaurant ideas and leave on a staggered schedule. It would add to the local culinary scene and save startups some of the hefty costs of equipment, leases and other elements needed to prove their concepts.

The two other initial concepts at the facility are Korean street food Korave Korean BBQ and global street food purveyor Lil Dumplings.

Fishers Test Kitchen is now taking applications for a popup to occupy the counter-service restaurant stall vacated by Natural State. The temporary occupant will move in October and could be considered for a longer stint, Wechsler said.

“As the other two concepts evolve, we’re already into the window of less than a year for them to graduate out into their

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