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Jan 27, 2010 11:31 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Cigar Bar has liquor license suspended because of violence

Jan 27, 2010 11:31 AM

The New York State Liquor Authority suspended the liquor license of the Cigar Bar in Sag Harbor last weekend after numerous fights in recent months, including three in a two-week period over the holidays.

In a press release issued Friday, the State Liquor Authority, or SLA, said a special meeting was called to issue the suspension because of “the recent history of escalating violence at the premises, including the gang-related assaults involving weapons, the persistent pattern of sale[s] to minors, the numerous fights and ensuing arrests.”

The SLA said it was notified by the Sag Harbor Village Police of five separate violent attacks in or near the small bar at the corner of Long Island Avenue and Main Street involving its patrons since late October.

Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Thomas Fabiano said that his department had notified the SLA of the recent repeated incidents of violence stemming from the bar.

Last week, a fight that broke out inside the tiny bar and spilled onto the streets involved nearly 30 people, some of whom were said to have used gang signs and may have been wearing gang “colors,” according to the police chief. No arrests were made because all of those involved fled the scene, Chief Fabiano said.

On December 29, four siblings were arrested after police said they attacked three bar patrons, sending two to the hospital with facial injuries. On October 29, a fight inside the bar resulted in a patron being taken to the hospital with multiple fractures to his face. In two of the fights, the SLA statement noted, the bartenders at the establishment made no effort to contact police.

“If you allow violence in your bar, we are going to take away your license,” SLA head Trina Mead said in the statement. “The members of the liquor authority sent a clear message today that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

The bar was closed over the weekend, though the license suspension prohibits only the sale of alcohol. The bar’s owner, Arleen Furer, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Ms. Furer, who originally opened the Cigar Bar at another, even smaller spot on Bay Street as a cigar aficionados’ gathering place, may appeal the suspension at an administrative hearing. The license suspension remains in place until otherwise modified by the state agency or a court.

michael wright

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I doubt for a second that the Cigar Bar allows violence as the SLA has suggested. What does a small establishment have to do, hire body guards at the door and use all the profits to pay them? Why bother being open.
By Infoseeker (255), Hampton Bays on Jan 26, 10 12:17 PM
?? Ok, so the hospitals didn't see those patients that were attacked there, right? Hmmm. Edmund Burke stated, "Evil prospers when good men do nothing." So, if the folks running the cigar bar serve to underage, and others, and violence breaks out, and they do nothing...don't even call the police, that makes them the "bad guy" and they shouldn't be in business. I do agree with you, they shouldn't be open if they cannot afford staff to ensure other patron's security, and the security of the community. ...more
By Caring Mom (6), Wainscott on Jan 27, 10 3:53 PM
Infoseeker: They are responsible for their premises and if they attact a violent crowd then they need to furnish security as do other clubs and bars with similar partrons. If they are too small to carry the overhead, then so be it. This place in particular has been s a public nuisance for several years and the problems include illegal drug sales on or near the premises, robberies of patrons, violent fights, and so on. This is the culmination of a long history, not just a few recent incidents ...more
By Sag (53), Sag harbor on Jan 26, 10 1:39 PM
Gangs in Sag Harbor. That's just great. Wonder where these gangs came from?
Actually I really don't wonder at all.
By double standard (1506), quogue on Jan 26, 10 1:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
"Sag" is absolutely correct. There is a long documented pattern stemming from the inadequate operation/management and ownership of this place. It's about time that you can no longer drink or smoke at The Cigar Bar. The place started off nice but has been a modern day "dive" for the past 10.
By HarborDad (37), Sag Harbor on Jan 26, 10 4:06 PM
The cigar bar has gone downhill ever since Bryon left
By snfork (6), ORIENT on Jan 26, 10 6:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sag Harbor downtown is such a beautiful place, one of the crown jewels of the South Folk. Let's hope the village can straighten this situation out, to the benefit of all parties involved.
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Jan 26, 10 9:38 PM
I agree with Johnny Nova. The goakl here to to keep Sag Harbor the place it is. It appears also that at one time the Cigar Bar was a worthwhile establishment. I don't know if it always had a liquor license, but if it did and the customers weren't rowdy, then Bryon, I guess knew what he was doing.

My sense of fairness is to allow the current owner to have a wine and beer license for a period of time. That should rid the place of the heavy hitters. Then, after time, allow her to reapply for ...more
By Scratch (26), Sag Harbor on Jan 26, 10 11:23 PM
You can take the gangsta out the hood, but you can't take the hood out the gangsta!
By bigfresh (3284), north sea on Jan 27, 10 2:59 AM
What is this suppose to mean! What hood are you talking about?
By Bridgehampton (36), Bridgehampton on Jan 27, 10 8:47 PM
I believe "bigfresh" is trying to say that these "trouble makers" at the bar are from out of town, hence, "take the gangsta out the hood." The underagers, and fighters, at least the ones I know, were born here. So what we have here is some local kids, who are getting drunk and doing dumb things. What he should have said is: Kids + Alchohol = Violence, stupidity, date rape, casual unsafe sex, drunk driving, etc.
By Caring Mom (6), Wainscott on Jan 28, 10 11:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
I hit the report as inappropriate button by accident instead of reply. Sorry
By MD (17), Southampton on Jan 28, 10 1:39 PM
these illegals all need to be deported. i will be first on line to join the militias to round em up.
By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Jan 27, 10 9:44 AM
I don't think it was a matter of gang violence, in as much as it was about underage drinking. With kids and alcohol, violence is bound to happen. Kudo's to the NYS Liquor Authority and the Sag Harbor Police for paying attention. I wish more parents would care about what their children are doing. Yes, folks, there are people, parents, within our own community who knew that their underage kids were there drinking, and being served. Some acted on this info, some didn't. Guess right won this ...more
By Caring Mom (6), Wainscott on Jan 27, 10 2:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
I totally agree with you! Underage drinking is a big problem. I think a lot of people are missing the realy point. If Cidar Bar is the cause we should support our police department.
By Bridgehampton (36), Bridgehampton on Jan 27, 10 8:51 PM
The Cigar Bar has increasingly attracted a more surly crowd. It's unfortunate, only a couple of years ago it was 'the place' to go in The Hamptons. (PS, this was looong after the Bryon days. Nice guy but not a crowd pleaser.) Maybe losing their license is in order to clean up the crowd.

But I don't think underage drinking is so much the problem there.

The police always seem to walk through Cigar Bar and find fault but never Superica. I can personally attest seeing my 18 year old ...more
By RealLocal (76), Bridgehampton on Jan 27, 10 3:11 PM
"Maybe" you should become more active in your community, and help out by reporting what you see, as other concerned people do... rather than whine about it being so unfair that the Cigar Bar got caught. Responsible people make for a better community.
By Caring Mom (6), Wainscott on Jan 27, 10 3:56 PM
Uhmm, I pulled the bartender aside and told him the 18 year old was underage. Funny, he responded, 'yeah, that happens a lot here before the bouncer get here, thanks.'

When I returned the next week and they were serving YET ANOTHER underage kid (same bartender), I stopped going there, my husband and I didn't even stay that night. Maybe you shouldn't be so quick to judge.

Furthermore, I didn't say, nor whine, that it was unfair that the Cigar Bar got caught. To clarify it for ...more
By RealLocal (76), Bridgehampton on Jan 27, 10 4:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Do you think it has to do with race card?
By Bridgehampton (36), Bridgehampton on Jan 27, 10 8:54 PM
You pulled the bartender aside, he said "thanks," and returned again to see a repeat performance. Why didn't you ask his name, or get it from another employee, and call the state liquor authority, or the Sag Harbor chief, heck, both for that matter. If no one noticed but you, or is big enough to stand up, maybe it is a signal to you to BE THE ONE!!!!! Just type in NYS Liquor Authority on line, and you can file date, time, names, etc., of the behavior you see...they DO care, obviously, as it ...more
By Caring Mom (6), Wainscott on Jan 28, 10 11:24 AM
Try calling the police if you would like to see it addressed.
By Bayman1 (296), Sag Harbor on Jan 29, 10 9:07 AM
That place blows..
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on Jan 27, 10 6:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
The comments on this page are funny. Especially the ones from individuals who have never set foot in Cigar Bar and have no idea what crowd is there or what type of activity goes on there. BigFresh your comment is ridiculous. Caring Mom, thank you for your comment. You said what a lot of us that go there are thinking. Gang related activity? Not so much
By MD (17), Southampton on Jan 28, 10 1:43 PM
I worked there as most of you know. This is long overdue! Arlene has taken advantage of Sag Harbor and it's residents for much too long. She has always had contempt for the laws and standards that the Village of Sag Harbor and its residents hold dear. To the people who still work there, I am sorry. But Arlene deserves everything she is about to get....... and hopefully it will be a big kick in the ass.
By Bryonconnolly (1), Sag Harbor on Jan 30, 10 12:06 AM
haha I've been 21 since it opened and now closed :(
By Pierson's Finest (1), sag harbor on Mar 15, 10 7:43 PM
yes,you are all a little right. what are your kids doing out that late anyhow?
looking for exactly what, caring mom?
bartenders need to make money for student loans, and use their employment as furthering their more important careers. better use of time for their young patrons instead of fake IDs online is researching schools for acceptance for these young people who have no
direction or guidance.now, no really ...more
By whocanipossiblybe? (1), ssss on Jun 5, 11 9:39 PM
registration, east hampton, day care, early childhood education, junior pre-k, pre-k, toddler