Newark shuts down several locations due to Halloween-related parties

COVID-19 Task Force cracks down on establishments violating emergency guidelines
NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Several establishments in Newark were shutdown over the weekend due to Halloween-related parties.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose report that several locations were cited by the Newark Fire Division for violations following the recent launch of the COVID-19 Task Force.

On Friday, the Task Force confiscated illegal alcohol valued at $10,000 and made two arrests of event organizers at a warehouse.

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"It's a shame that after seven months people and owners of these establishments are not taking this pandemic seriously," Director Ambrose said. "The value is placed upon wealth vs. health. Most of the locations cited were in violation of not wearing masks and not exercising social distancing, however fire and code violations superseded the citations."

The following establishments were closed and cited for violating the Executive Order:

La Rouge Lounge: 972 Broad Street
Found operating above capacity; not practicing social distancing; patrons failed to utilize PPEs; utilization of hookahs in violation of fire code.

King Soccer: 6 Elizabeth Ave
Closed and cited for operating without a certificate of occupancy. No other violations were found.

Zepe's Cafe Bar: 240 Elm Street
Closed and cited due to several violations. Upon entry there was a crowd of patrons observed not social distancing.

On October 30, Zepe was warned of the violation. As per Alcohol and Beverage Control, this establishment is closed until Monday, November 2.

ViVo Lounge: 167 Ferry Street
Closed and cited for having patrons eating inside after 8 p.m.

Lit 21: 1034 McCarter Hwy
Closed and cited for operating after 8 p.m., no PPE, serving alcohol from the bar, and over capacity.

The COVID-19 Task Force is continuing to conduct inspections of businesses for violations of the Mayor's Executive Order as COVID-19 numbers rise in Newark, particularly in the East Ward.

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