“We are just trying to make a living and feed our families,” said Staten Island bar owner Keith McAlarney.
Patrons of a Staten Island bar have become protestors now that Mac’s Public House has been shut down.
A massive crowd gathered around the restaurant located on Lincoln Avenue in Grant City Wednesday after authorities shut the place down for failure to comply with COVID-19 regulations. The restaurant is located in a coronavirus “hot zone,” but residents say they should be allowed to dine there if they choose to and protested on Wednesday, per ABC7ny.com.
“We are just trying to make a living and feed our families,” said bar owner Keith McAlarney. “We jumped through every hoop, did whatever they did. But at some point, you can’t just keep shutting down.”
Signs on the windows declared the bar an ‘autonomous zone,‘ encouraged donations, and offered free drinks before they were forced to close their doors.
“I can assure everybody there wasn’t a person in the place that was disorderly, disrespectful, or not courteous,“ said attorney Louis Gelormino. “Executive orders are emergency powers that are supposed to be short-lived and narrowly tailored.”
The owner says it has been a dream of his to own a bar since he was a child but now that dream is being taken away from him.
“Since ten years old, everybody wanted to be fireman and cops, and I wanted to own a bar,” he says. “It’s being stripped from me.”
The general manager of the establishment, Danny Presti, was arrested for continuing to serve patrons indoors. He is being hit with civil fines and charged with disorderly conduct.
Hundreds of people swarmed the closed bar to protest.
One patron said he is upset about how police are managing the situation.
“I’m disappointed they are going around arresting business owners,” said Chris Hunt. “I’m a responsible adult. If I want to go in there. I should be allowed to go in there.”
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