45th Precinct busts bodega for selling alcohol to minors

Izzy's Gourmet Deli had been shut down by the 45th Precinct for selling alcohol to minors. Photo by Vito Signorile

The gig is up for local grocery stores that sell alcohol and cigarettes to minors.

Led by Captain Russell Green, the team at the 45th Precinct shut down Izzy’s Gourmet Deli at 3001 Westchester Avenue on Friday, December 2 after busting store employees for allegedly selling alcohol to young teenagers.

According to Green, the 45th has been monitoring the location since November 2010 after several complaints were made about underage sales. Green said the complaints began to increase over this past summer and the precinct themnplaced a watchful eye on Izzy’s since.

“We had known about it for some time, but we needed to make sure that our undercover team caught them red-handed on several accounts,” Green said. “We were hearing complaints about this for the longest time and we made it a priority to watch over late last year..”

Green said arrests have been made in the past at Izzy’s, but for the most part, summonses have been issued for people loitering outside the deli while consuming alcoholic beverages.

After the store was shut down, the owners were fined $4,500 for the illegal sale of alcohol to minors and were forced to surrender their liquor license. According to Green, there will be a stipulation that will not allow the license to be renewed again at the location.

By Monday, December 5, Izzy’s re-opened, but Green said that workers were clearing the store of any remaining alcoholic beverages. Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who had also received complaints about Izzy’s, praised Green and the 45th Precinct officers for their efforts.

“This is obviously a message to all of the stores who think that it’s fine to sell alcohol to minors. We will not tolerate this at all. We promise that they will get caught and they will pay the consequence,” said Vacca

On Friday, December 9, Hank and Pete’s Luncheonette on 2883 Randall Avenue, on the corner of East Tremont Avenue, was also shut down for the alleged sale of alcohol to minors by a court order.

The exact details for the location’s closure could not be determined, but it re-opened for business on Saturday, December 10.

Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at vsignorile@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383.

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