Hamden Cafe Was Packed With 150 Dancing Customers: Police

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NBC Connecticut

The Department of Consumer Protection has suspended the liquor license of a Hamden restaurant that police said was packed with as many as 150 people last week, most who were not wearing masks.

Hamden police responded to Cafe Studio 1537 on Dixwell Avenue on Friday night after an anonymous complaint that the restaurant was overcrowded. Arriving officers said they saw about 150 packed on dance floor and dancing in "close proximity" to each other. There were another 25 to 30 people crowded around a bar, police said.

Officers estimated that more than half of the people in the restaurant were not wearing masks and another one-quarter of the patrons had masks around their chins, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.

The owner told police the event was a private party and that while everyone who came in was wearing masks, that she can't control what the customers do once they are inside.

Under the governor's current executive orders, indoor private, social, and recreational gatherings at commercial venues are limited to a cap of 25 people.

"With COVID-19 infection rates on the rise, the gathering hosted at Studio 1537 is exactly the type of super spreader event the sector rules are designed to prevent," said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. "We expect our liquor permittees to hold public health and safety as their highest priority in order to protect themselves, their employees, their customers and their community. I want to thank the Hamden Police Department and local public health officials for their work and cooperation in this matter."

NBC Connecticut has reached out to the owner for a comment on the suspension of her liquor license.

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