By Janee Law
A troubled Huntington Station tavern will remain booze free for at least two years following a New York State Liquor Authority board ruling.
Melissa Tavern, the site of 127 reported incidents over a five-year period, according to Suffolk police, will not be permitted to serve alcohol, no matter who owns it, “at least not for the next couple of years,” Vincent Bradley, SLA chairman, said during a June 8 hearing.
Last year, due a history of violent incidents and other violations, the SLA filed multiple charges against Melissa’s previous owners, Jose and Maria Bautista, who agreed to surrender their license and pay a fine in order to satisfy the charges.
Rosa Alvarez De Romero, who is related to the Bautistas, purchased the 1419 New York Ave. tavern — which currently has a sign that reads “El Paraiso Elvira Restaurant” — last year, according to attorney Scott Lockwood, who represented the Bautistas.
Alvarez De Romero submitted an application to the SLA to get a new license, but was denied based on character and fitness, and due to her relation to the Bautistas, according to the board’s ruling.
Her attorney, Mineola-based Matthew Fleischer, did not return multiple calls for comment prior to deadline Wednesday.
Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, a major advocate for revoking Melissa’s license, said he was “pleased with the NY SLA’s ruling to keep this troubled location dry through the year 2019.”
The incidents that have occurred both inside and outside of Melissa’s have included homicide, assault, robbery and menacing, according to Suffolk police.
Bill Crowley, an SLA spokesman, said any new application that comes in for the location will be scrutinized heavily due to the history of the tavern under the prior licensee.
“When we have places like this, especially when the community, elected officials and others are continuing to complain about it, and we have all these violations, we will put what’s called a ‘stop’ on the location,” Crowley said. “Any new application that comes in at that location it will have to go to the full board, rather than just be reviewed at the staff level here at the agency.”