The Spirits of ‘76

Here’s my choice of “Most Encouraging Story of the Day,” courtesy of Bill Martin:

NYC Bar Owners Declare ‘Autonomous Zone,’ Lock Out City COVID Officers

Owners of a New York City bar have declared their business an ‘autonomous zone’ in defiance of coronavirus tyranny imposed by city and state officials.

Inspectors attempting to enforce COVID rules forbidding indoor dining in bars and restaurants were turned away from Mac’s Public House in Staten Island by owner Keith McAlarney, who says he locked the door as they retreated.

“One of the TLC workers asked, ‘Oh, are you closed?’” McAlarney told the New York Post. “I said, ‘Yes.’”

“She turned and walked away.”

There were reportedly nine guests inside Mac’s at the time, but McAlarney says he has stopped charging for food and drink after the State Liquor Authority stripped his liquor license on Friday and is instead accepting tips and donations from those who eat or imbibe in his establishment.

Love it! One of COVIDCon’s serendipities may be that Americans increasingly reject licensing, given the stranglehold it grants the State.

Our hero has also vowed to stick to his guns (perhaps literally one day):

We’re not backing down,” McAlarney said in a video posted to social media. “You think you scared me by saying I don’t have a license now to serve liquor? Well guess what? That liquor license is on the wall. If that liquor license is gonna come off the wall, it’s gonna be done by Cuomo. You wanna come down here and pull that license off the wall?”

“De Bozo,

Love it!

you want to come down here and pull that license off the wall? Feel free to end up coming down, and we’ll end up having a conversation before you even think about stepping foot on my property. I will not back down.”

Mac’s owners have declared their property an “autonomous zone,” hanging signage around the business stating, “We refuse to abide by any rules and regulations put forth by the Mayor of NYC and Governor of NY State.”

MAGNIFICENT! Finally, beleaguered Americans take a page from the Founding Fathers!

Authorities have slapped Mac’s with a deluge of large fines, but co-owner Danny Presti says they have no intention of paying them.

And another page! You go, guys!

McAlarney said the bar has received an outpouring of support, with “104 [phone] calls yesterday, 70 so far today, [from] all over the country, Ireland, all telling us to keep strong.’’

Some people stopped by to take selfies posing with the front page of Sunday’s Post featuring the bar’s act of defiance.

On Sunday, a customer asked McAlarney at one point if he could bring a party of nine.

“More than welcome!’’ McAlarney said. “A party of nine, you’ll have to push two tables together. You know how this works. … Because we lost the license, and the shutdown, we’re not charging. Everything is free.

“If you feel like making a donation, that’ll be great, but food and drink are free. Enjoy yourself!”

A 61-year-old local, Bill, praised the bar’s efforts.

“Look at all these empty places, shut down. These guys sink their life savings into these places, and they’re all going out of business!’’ he said.

“Follow their rules, and you’ll starve this winter. De Blasio and Cuomo will be fine. You’ll starve!”

Yep. Or, in the words of the Founders, “...when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”


11:28 am on December 1, 2020