Home Business Business News State revokes Hy Ting’s liquor license, imposes two-year ban on re-issuance

State revokes Hy Ting’s liquor license, imposes two-year ban on re-issuance

Hy Ting Restaurant at 54 W. Main St. Photo: Peter Blasl

Hy Ting Restaurant’s liquor license, which was summarily suspended by the New York State Liquor Authority in March, was revoked by that agency at its regular monthly board meeting in June.

The liquor authority imposed a two-year proscription on re-issuance of the license, an agency spokesperson said today.

The agency suspended the restaurant’s license March 28 after numerous referrals from the Riverhead Police Department, which said Hy Ting had become a focal point for police attention since September 2017, according to a press release issued by the SLA March 29.

Police reported at least six 911 calls for disturbances in or directly outside the premises during the last four months prior to the suspension, the SLA said in March.

On March 16, police responded to a 911 call there regarding a fight involving several patrons. According to Riverhead Police, an argument began inside the restaurant and escalated into a fight in the parking lot outside the premises. All the patrons involved in the altercation refused to cooperate with the police, and when the police officers attempted to enter the establishment to speak to the owner, the licensee locked the door, walked away and did not return or respond to repeated knocks and verbal requests by police, according to the press release.

On Feb. 24, police responded to another 911 call concerning an altercation involving several patrons inside the licensed premises. Upon arrival, police spoke with a female patron who stated that she was in a fight inside the restaurant, but refused to be interviewed or identified, police said. A police officer then entered the premises and was confronted by the bartender, who stated that the dispute was a domestic issue, not a fight, and that it didn’t happen inside the bar, contrary to what police were told earlier by the female patron, according to the release.

Police responded to calls for two additional fights at Hy Ting Restaurant on Jan. 15, and Dec. 22, as well as two calls for altercations on Jan. 20 and Nov. 11. None of these calls were made by a representative of the licensed premises, and at no time did the licensee contact the police department to report the incidents, according to the report.

Riverhead Police told the SLA the restaurant is being managed by Hung Loo, a convicted felon with a substantial criminal record, including one conviction for felony assault with a firearm, the press release said.

On the many occasions that police were called to the premises, Loo has represented himself as the licensee and owner of the restaurant, even though his companion is listed as the licensee, police said. Furthermore, during an SLA inspection, an investigator found evidence that Loo is the name on the bank account for the establishment and that he is signing the checks for the licensed premises, the agency said in the release.

Both the hiring of a felon and making a license available to an individual not listed on the license are serious violations of the ABC Law, the authority said.

On March 19, the SLA conducted a joint inspection of the restaurant with Riverhead police and observed over 20 violations of the ABC Law, 36 health code violations and other fire and safety violations, according to the report. On March 22, the SLA charged Hy Ting Restaurant with 48 violations, in addition to four pending charges against the licensed premises filed on Feb. 5.

The SLA board ordered the revocation at its June 13 regular meeting in New York City. No one representing the licensee appeared on its behalf at the hearing.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.