Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday night outside of the Staten Island bar, Mac’s Public House, chanting “Cuomo sucks!” in protest of the arrest of the bar’s co-owner.
Video posted to Twitter shows the block outside the bar packed shoulder to shoulder with protesters, some carrying American flags.
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) December 2, 2020
At one point, the crowd erupts into chants of “Cuomo sucks! Cuomo sucks!,” referring to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“USA, USA…” Supporters showing up to protest & chant outside of Mac’s Public House in #StatenIsland. Many want to eat and drink indoors & don’t believe the establishment should have been shut down after receiving several warnings for violating orders @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/iJDDVb1gPn
— Cory James (@CoryJamesTV) December 3, 2020
A huge group of people gathered outside the Staten Island bar – in the middle of a COVID hot zone – that was shut down last night by police for violating pandemic safety rules. Many could be seen carrying the American flag. https://t.co/wNY30RhP1l pic.twitter.com/c4CLajRio7
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) December 3, 2020
Officers guarded the door to the bar to ensure no one entered to eat or drink, according to CBS2 New York. However, no arrests were made Wednesday night and no summons were issued, CBS2 reported.
The pub has received support from local business owners, with Joseph Cannizzo telling CBS2 that the government permitting people to serve takeout and offer outdoor dining just isn’t enough.
“We pay high city tax. We pay high state tax. We pay high federal tax like everybody else. A lot of us need to operate above a certain capacity just to be able to even pay our bills and pay our staff,” he said. (RELATED: ‘That’s The Law!’: Gov. Cuomo Shouts Down Reporter For Asking About New York Schools)
One woman identified as Carol told CBS2 that she thinks people need to be able to earn a living.
“I actually support him. I believe that people should be allowed to earn a buck with their business. I think that a lot of the hype is a little bit exaggerated,” she said.
The bar is in a designated orange zone due to a recent spike of coronavirus cases and restaurants within the zone are not permitted to serve customers indoors, according to the Associated Press (AP). The owners attempted to skirt the restrictions by designating the bar an “autonomous zone,” an apparent reference to Seattle protesters who claimed control over a neighborhood in June.
The bar was fined thousands of dollars for continuing to serve customers while having their state liquor license revoked and staying open past the 10 p.m. curfew imposed by Cuomo, the AP reported.
Presti was arrested Tuesday for allegedly refusing to leave the restaurant and having unauthorized food and beverage service, according to the report.
“From what I understand, he’s arrested because he didn’t want to leave [his business], and at that point … they considered it trespassing,” Lou Gelormino, a lawyer representing the tavern, told the Staten Island Advance.
Presti was released within hours of his arrest with a series of tickets, the New York Post reported.