INWOOD — A pair of Dyckman Street bars was slapped with violations for serving alcohol to minors last week, forcing one of the troubled nightspots to shut down by court order and threatening to close the other.
Police from the 34th Precinct hit both Uptown Social and Maja's Tapas Bar with citations for underage drinking last Thursday, NYPD sources said.
Uptown Social at 186 Dyckman St. was closed by a court order due to sales to minors, while Maja’s Tapas Bar at 229 Dyckman St. received a restraining order prohibiting illegal alcohol sales and the removal of property from the venue, according to orders placed on the businesses.
Uptown Social has been shut down twice in the past year — once for serving alcohol to minors and once for failure to pay worker’s compensation insurance.
Yuri Prokhorov, a representative of the bar, appeared before Community Board 12’s licensing committee in October to seek approval for a new liquor license at the venue.
He said that Uptown Social was under new ownership and had made strides toward improving its reputation in the neighborhood. Prokhorov noted that the new owner, Myra Acosta, had increased security at the venue and was using an ID scanner to prevent underage drinking. He noted staff had also received extensive re-training to help curb such issues.
The board ultimately voted in favor of a new liquor license that would allow the venue to operate until 2 a.m. seven nights a week. The application is still awaiting approval by the State Liquor Authority.
A police source said that recent sales to underage customers led officers to close Uptown Social again under order from the New York Supreme Court. It was not immediately clear how long the closure would remain in effect.
Elliot Fuld, a lawyer representing Uptown Social, would neither confirm nor deny the underage drinking charges. Fuld noted that his client is trying to reach a settlement with the city to reopen the venue as soon as possible.
An SLA spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on how the closure may affect Uptown Social's application for a new license.
In the case of Maja’s Tapas Bar, the nightspot was not required to shut down operations after getting cited for serving minors.
A restraining order that was posted to Maja's door prohibits the establishment from removing any property from the premises and from making illegal alcohol sales. Court documents filed in conjunction with the case show that Maja's is allowed to remain open pending a hearing on Dec. 2. A determination will be made at that time as to whether or not the restaurant will be temporarily closed.
There is no record with the State Liquor Authority or with the New York Supreme Court of any previous disciplinary actions against Maja’s Tapas Bar. Its current liquor license expires in February 2016.
The owner of Maja’s could not be reached for comment.