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Staten Island bar continues to defy NY coronavirus restrictions

Posted at 5:18 PM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-06 00:21:12-05

GRANT CITY, Staten Island — A Staten Island bar causing controversy over New York’s coronavirus restrictions apparently reopened again this weekend in defiance of the governor’s orders.

Video posted to social media showed a mostly maskless crowd inside Mac’s Public House on Lincoln Avenue.

The bar posted on Instagram that they will remain open nightly.

While the front door of the building was locked, it appears thirsty patrons entered the watering hole through an empty storefront next door.

New York City sheriff's deputies shut down the bar and arrested one of its owners earlier this week after an investigation revealed the bar was offering indoor dining and flouting several other coronavirus restrictions despite being in one of the city's "orange zones." The bar has also had its liquor license revoked.

A sign seen on the bar's window referred to the business as an "autonomous zone."

Protesters shouted Tuesday as deputies arrested co-owner Danny Presti.

The tavern is in an area designated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an orange zone because of spiking COVID-19 cases and was not supposed to be serving customers indoors. Staten Island has the highest positivity rate in the city.

Presti was charged with obstruction of governmental administration in addition to coronavirus-related violations.

An attorney for the bar's owners said Presti was arrested simply because he didn’t want to leave his business.

The bar has started a Gofundme that claims to be raising $500,000 for small business.

The sheriff's office isn't commenting on whether the bar is under investigation.