2007-03-16 / Community

Local Grocery Loses Appeal, Beer License Suspended

Attorney Claims Owner Was Set Up By Police
By Howard Schwach

By Howard Schwach

The Rockaway Farm grocery store will lose its license to sell alcoholic beverages for 25 days beginning on May 1. The Rockaway Farm grocery store will lose its license to sell alcoholic beverages for 25 days beginning on May 1. The New York State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control has turned down an appeal by a local grocery store owner to keep from having his license to sell beer suspended for 25 days, an agency spokesperson told The Wave on Tuesday.

Duck Sur Soung, the owner of the 281 Beach Grocery Corporation, doing business as Rockaway Farm at 279-281 Beach 116 Street was notified by the state on January 30 that he had been fined $6,000 and that his license to sell beer had been lifted for 25 days.

Soung appealed that decision, but he was notified this week that his appeal had been turned down.

"Your request for reconsideration was granted," the Liquor Authority told Soung on March 12. "Upon reconsideration, the prior determination of January 24 is adhered to."

According to papers filed by the agency and obtained by The Wave, the suspension and fine were the result of selling alcoholic beverages to underage customers "on or about September 29, 2006."

Soung's attorney, however, says that there is no justice in that decision.

"The police from the local precinct set him up," Attorney Bernard Seidman said. "They send in a young officer - or perhaps a cadet - who is just under 21 years of age, but looks 40 [years of age] at a very busy time. This doesn't just happen [in Rockaway], it happens throughout the city."

Seidman says that he is not sure of whether or not the person who was sold the beer had a phony identification.

"Many of the problems we have are because the kids who buy the beer had a phony license," he added. "It's not the fault of the storeowner if beer is sold under those circumstances."

The suspension of Rockaway Farm's license to sell alcoholic beverages will begin on May 1, officials say.

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