Bracco's Clam & Oyster Bar

An online petitioner is seeking signatures in an effort to reverse the suspension of a rowdy Nautical Mile bar’s liquor license after a string of complaints and a melee earlier this month.

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The petition nearly achieved its goal Monday of getting 1,000 online signatures that the organizer hopes will help Bracco’s Clam and Oyster Bar on Woodcleft Avenue in Freeport get its license restored. The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) last week suspended Bracco’s license, meaning the bar cannot serve alcohol, and no booze can be consumed on the premises unless an administrative judge reverses the decision at a hearing.

“Say what you will, but this establishment has always brought the most people to The Mile, is one of the few that stay open in the winter and is consistent with always something for everyone,” the unidentified petitioner wrote in the call to action. “No business is perfect, but to single out Bracco’s just makes no sense. Without them, you’re just hurting the village in the long run.”

The SLA suspended Bracco’s liquor license after Freeport village police reported the bar to the agency after rapper 50 Cent, who was only supposed to be at Bracco’s to promote his Vodka brand, performed for 45 minutes, drawing a rowdy crowd that broke into a brawl and later pelted officers with debris as they made an arrest after the rapper left, officials have said.

Police have responded to nearly 100 calls at Bracco’s since May 1, including 20 noise complaints and six arrests, the SLA said. The agency previously fined Bracco’s $2,500 last year, $4,000 in June and $4,500 in July for excess noise, lack of supervision and other charges. It was also fined $2,500 in 2012 for selling after hours.

Its latest violations include 21 counts, including assaults, disorderly premises, improper conduct for making misrepresentations to the police, permitting live performances in violation of their license and for becoming a focal point for police attention.

Jerry Bracco, the father of the three men who own Bracco’s Clam and Oyster Bar, told the Press that he was unaware of the petition, but called the events that led to their license suspension “an unfortunate incident.”

“It’s a family business,” he said. “Nobody has brought more people to the Nautical Mile than us.”

Bracco’s Clam and Oyster Bar has remained open for business with a small staff to serve food, it said on its Facebook page. The owners have until Aug. 31 to enter a plea in response to the violations the SLA charged them with. If they plead not guilty, they can appeal the suspension before an administrative judge.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.