If you want an example of how petty government officials can be, and how spurious many supposed coronavirus protections are, one need only look at the case of The Village Line in Kenmore, New York. The bar recently had its liquor license suspended by state authorities for supposedly violating Governor Cuomo’s executive order. But the owner suspects that he was actually closed for a satirical menu criticizing the governor.
Governor Cuomo issued an executive order requiring customers to purchase food in order to consume alcohol. The bar thus created a new menu to comply with the governor’s edicts. On the menu were:
- Flour tortilla
- Utz BBQ Chips
- Carrot Stick
- Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Unsalted Nuts
- Oatmeal Cookie
- Meat slice (Lafayette Brewing style)
- Orange Slice
Each of the food offerings was priced at $1, yet state investigators still closed down the bar. Apparently Governor Cuomo thinks that only “substantive” food offerings such as soup and sandwiches adhere to his executive order. The purposes of requiring food purchases with alcohol was to keep people in their seats, which supposedly would help mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Cuomo undoubtedly was also offended at the message spelled out by the bar’s menu. According to the bar’s owner, it’s a local bar that isn’t well known outside the neighborhood. He feels that the shutdown was targeted against him for his menu’s message, as the supposed violators of the executive order, who were spotted drinking with no food in front of them, had probably finished their food earlier.
It’s unfortunate that so many businesses have been shut down solely through executive action, but incidents like this underscore the fact that these shutdowns have no basis in trying to keep people healthy or safe, but are solely an exercise of power against those whom state authorities don’t like. Since it’s New York, Cuomo probably won’t feel any repercussions from Democratic voters who will likely continue to keep voting him in. But you have to wonder whether elected officials in other areas of the country won’t feel some negative consequences from similar overreach in other states.