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NYC Pub Borrows a Page From Leftists in Lockdown Dispute

Kevin P. Coughlin/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP

A clever bar owner in New York City is borrowing a tactic from left-wing anarchists in an ongoing spat with the government over coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The pub, located in Staten Island, declared itself an "autonomous zone" as a new ban on indoor dining at bars and restaurants took effect on Wednesday. 


The New York Post reported on Saturday that a sign outside Mac's Public House in Grant City read, "!ATTENTION! We hereby declare this establishment an !!!AUTONOMOUS ZONE!!!"

"We refuse to abide by any rules and regulations put forth by the Mayor of NYC and Governor of NY State," the message continued. 

Despite a shutdown order from the state Health Department and multiple $1,000 fines, the bar owners are refusing to close their doors. 

(Via the New York Post

“At this point, we’re OK with it, because we’re not paying it,” co-owner Danny Presti said. “[The Sheriff’s Department] is issuing us $1,000 fines, so they keep coming back. We’re still here. We’re not letting them in.”
Co-owner Keith McAlarney backed up his partner’s declaration of COVID independence.

“We’re not backing down. You think you scared me by . . . saying I don’t have a license now to serve liquor now? Well guess what? That liquor license is on the wall. If that liquor license is gonna come off the wall, it’s gonna be done by Cuomo. You wanna come down here and pull that license off the wall?” McAlarney says in a YouTube video posted Friday, the same day the bar’s liquor license was yanked.

“De Bozo,” he continued, presumably referring to Mayor de Blasio, “you want to come down here and pull the license off the wall?” “Feel free to end up comin’ down, and we’ll end up having a conversation before you even think about stepping foot on my property. I will not back down.”


The New York Post reports that a small group of patrons mostly wearing face masks frequented the bar on Saturday. The bar was appearing to exploit a loophole in Cuomo's executive order by not charging customers for drinks. 

"I totally support what he is doing. I don’t support the tyrannical nonsense they have in place," Keith Atherholt, who left a $100 tip for a glass of water, told the Post. "I gave them $100 for this water. They didn’t charge me. I gave it to support them."

State agencies have pulled licenses as an enforcement measure against business owners flouting lockdown orders.  

A drinkery in Kentucky selling both coffee and alcohol had its alcohol license suspended by the state's Alcohol Beverage Control agency (ABC) earlier this week after failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. Owner Andrew Cooperrider, who identifies himself as an official in the Libertarian Party of Kentucky on his Facebook page, is similarly refusing to stop serving customers at his business. 

In June, left-wing loons in Washington seized part of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood and declared several blocks of the city to be an "autonomous zone," free of government control. During an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan predicted "a summer of love," but the CHOP, as the autonomous zone became known, turned out to be a summer of murder and mayhem as Democratic officials allowed the occupation to continue for nearly a month.


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