Consumer Protection Commissioner issues summary suspension for Dixwell Social Lounge in Hamden
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020 – Today, Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull signed a summary suspension of the liquor permit for Dixwell Social Lounge (LCA.0008233), located at 940 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden.
This suspension comes because of a referral from the Hamden Police Department received on Wednesday, November 4, by Department of Consumer Protection’s (DCP)Liquor Control Division regarding events that occurred on the late evening hours of October 31, 2020 into the early morning hours of November 1, 2020. On October 31, 2020, the Dixwell Social Lounge was the scene of a large gathering that violated Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Orders and corresponding Phase 3 Sector Rules, which were implemented in response to the declared COVID-19 public health crisis.
In a letter to DCP’s Liquor Control Division, Hamden Deputy Chief of Police Bo Kicak indicated Hamden police were dispatched to the premise on reports of a fight in progress. When officers arrived, they observed a large crowd and estimated about 500 people were on the scene, even though only 125 people were allowed in the premise at the time. Officers noted that people were not social distancing, were not wearing face masks, were consuming alcoholic beverages without consuming food, and that a DJ was performing at a distance in violation of sector rules. These observations are supported by a video submitted to DCP and provided by the City of New Haven’s Department of Public Health. Officers also observed cars in the parking lot with plates from multiple states, in addition to a large party bus. Officers reported that a main road had to close to safely empty the facility, which took 30 minutes. DCP Liquor Control Division has received at least two complaints from private citizens about the premise from the same weekend.
“It was apparent that the owners of this establishment were not enforcing the COVID-19 safety guidelines at all,” Deputy Chief Kicak wrote in the letter. In his request for assistance, he wrote: “If the Dixwell Social Lounge continues operation, it will continue to pose an absolute threat to public safety as well as being a constant drain on police resources.”
“I want to thank the Hamden Police Department and local public health officials for their work and cooperation in this matter,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “Public health and safety remains our top priority, and we expect liquor establishments to adhere to the guidelines implemented to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Patrons in Connecticut should be able to feel safe when they visit liquor establishments in our state, and this type of incident puts that safety in jeopardy. We take these matters very seriously at DCP, and I look forward to a resolution.”
Those with concerns about a liquor permit holder in the State of Connecticut may contact DCP’s Liquor Control Division at (860) 713-6210, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.