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Bracco’s in Freeport liquor license suspended after melee

The shark entrance at Bracco's Clam and Oyster

The shark entrance at Bracco's Clam and Oyster Bar is seen during the Nautical Mile Festival in Freeport on Sunday, June 7, 2014. Credit: Steven Sunshine

The State Liquor Authority has suspended the liquor license of Bracco’s Clam and Oyster Bar on Freeport’s Nautical Mile after a melee earlier this month followed a concert by rapper 50 Cent.

Authority officials said in a news release Tuesday that the agency had issued an emergency suspension for the bar at 319 Woodcleft Ave. and no alcohol can be served or consumed on the premises.

Freeport Police referred the bar to the authority, documenting the brawl after an unauthorized concert at Bracco’s on Aug 6.

Mayor Robert Kennedy said in an interview Wednesday that the village early on Aug. 6 had asked Bracco’s officials about any performance and were told that 50 Cent would not perform and was there only to promote his vodka brand.

“After he got there, though, he performed for about 45 minutes, drawing about 500 people inside the 200-person capacity bar, and hundreds more outside,” Kennedy said. The state authority detailed the same information in its news release. Kennedy added that the crowds blocked vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

A man who answered the telephone at Bracco’s Wednesday said “there is nothing to be said about” the license suspension and hung up.

The mayhem after the performance included the destruction of property at Bracco’s and neighboring businesses, fist fights in the streets and the arrest of three people, officials said. Two Freeport police officers were injured when patrons from the VIP area of Bracco’s hurled glass bottles and other debris at them, according to the liquor authority news release.

Freeport police required the assistance of the Nassau County Police Department to help quell the violence, the liquor agency reported.

Village Police Chief Miguel Bermudez, in a statement posted on the liquor authority’s website, said Bracco’s “has shown a history of complete and wanton disregard to the welfare and safety of their own patrons, members of the community as well as to police officers. This type of conduct will not be tolerated by the Freeport Police Department from any licensed premise.”

Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley said in a statement that the violation was serious enough to warrant an immediate suspension.

Bracco’s was fined $4,500 by the authority on July 14; $4,000 on June 20; and $2,500 on April 21, 2015 for violations including excessive noise, disorderly conduct, lack of supervision and failing to conform to their license application as a restaurant, according to the authority’s release. The bar also was fined $2,500 in 2012 for selling alcohol after hours.

Butch Yamali, the owner of Hudson’s on the Mile, said Bracco’s “scares away the family oriented customer — the customer I want. I closed up early that evening just so none of my people got caught up in” the crowd.

Bill Crowley, a spokesman for the liquor authority, said no date has been set for a hearing on the suspension. Bracco’s representatives have until Aug. 31 to respond to the suspension.


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