New Jersey’s ABC Searching High and Low for COVID-19 Violations in State’s Restaurants

TRENTON, NJ – You better watch out.  You better not pout. You better not cry. I’m telling you why. Governor Phil Murphy’s ABC agents are coming to town.  It’s the holiday season in the Garden State and that means one thing.  COVID-19 compliance officers will continue to conduct surprise inspections on struggling business owners to see if they’ve been naughty or nice.

New Jersey State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan is making a list and he’s checking it twice.  This week, his list included a naughty Metuchen teenager who hosted a house party while mom and dad were out of town.  Let’s hope mom and dad didn’t go out of state, because that would be a whole other violation to talk about.

“With regards to compliance, in Paterson, police responded to Kilveo’s Pub and cited the manager for EO violations; in Metuchen, police responded to a large house party which allegedly the parents were aware of and departed the residence,” Callahan said. “Both parents were charged as was the 16-year-old juvenile who hosted the party.”

It wasn’t just naughty teens and absent-minded parents on Callahan’s naughty list Monday, it was 19 bars, restaurants, and businesses across the state where ABC inspectors showed up announced, bearing gifts of COVID-19 violation summonses.

“On Thursday and Friday of last week, ABC went out on inspections on Thursday, they conducted 66 COVID-19 Compliance Inspections and cited three: Foxtails Lounge in Manville was cited, Cheers Sports Bar and Cafe located in Bound Brook was cited, as was the Hamilton Tavern in Hamilton,” Callahan said. “On Friday, they conducted 48 compliance inspections and cited six establishments. Those six were as follows: Fielder’s Pub in Winslow Township, Twisted Tavern at Pinelands Golf Club, also in Winslow; Paul’s Tavern in Lindenwold; Cafe Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill; Viera Bar and Grill in Cherry Hill, and the Laughing Fox Tavern, located in Magnolia.”

Murphy’s ABC inspectors have been spot-checking bars and restaurants since November and the practice is expected to last through the latest second wave mini-lockdown, which isn’t actually a lockdown.