Bar owner in danger of losing license accuses town of racism

The owner of a Kenilworth bar that is in danger of losing its liquor license is accusing borough officials of racism.

News 12 Staff

May 25, 2019, 2:13 AM

Updated 1,819 days ago

Share:

The owner of a Kenilworth bar that is in danger of losing its liquor license is accusing borough officials of racism.
Jessica Quintana owns Gavelstone Bar and Grill on Michigan Avenue. Quintana says that officials want to shut her down for 30 days starting June 15. She is concerned the decision may be due to the fact that many of her customers are African American.
Quintana points to comments made by Anthony Cuppari, and alternate member of the borough planning board, who also owns properties near the Gavelstone.
“They’re highly offensive, even though I’m not African American,” Quintana says.
Cuppari is heard making the comments in video recording posted on social media. The recording is a telephone conversation between Cuppari and one of the bartenders concerning complaints from neighbors about noise and loitering by customers at the bar.
“They’re coming into a bar to get drunk, to have a good time. So we are not seeing the good side of these people to begin with, OK?” Cuppari is heard saying.
The conversation continues with Cuppari saying, "Unfortunately, a lot of times, culturally, it is different. We don't drink Hennessy here or Ciroc. It's things like that that are really kind of different."
Cuppari has since resigned from his post on the planning board.
Gavelstone is the same bar that served Ibn Collins, a man arrested for allegedly running down and killing a teacher in Linden earlier this year. Meghan Crilly was crossing the street when police say Collins ran a red light.
In response to the telephone comments, Kenilworth Borough Attorney Frank Capece says in a statement, "We do not condone the intemperate and inappropriate opinions of an alternate member of the planning board regarding license review of a local tavern."
The attorney says the bar was cited due to its connection to the deadly hit-and-run, plus complaints about the behavior of the bar customers who are accused of being loud and urinating on neighbors’ lawns.
News 12 New Jersey attempted to reach Cuppari, but was not successful. He has told other media outlets that he did not say anything racist.
Quintana says she is appealing the decision to shut down her bar.


More from News 12
0:25
Prosecutor: Human remains found in 1 of 3 cars submerged in Cooper River in Pennsauken

Prosecutor: Human remains found in 1 of 3 cars submerged in Cooper River in Pennsauken

2:24
Clouds, some rain expected for Saturday, weather should improve by Sunday

Clouds, some rain expected for Saturday, weather should improve by Sunday

0:43
Immaculate Heart of Mary school in Wayne announces closure at end of school year

Immaculate Heart of Mary school in Wayne announces closure at end of school year

2:11
Paramus community honors student, teacher killed in school bus crash six years ago

Paramus community honors student, teacher killed in school bus crash six years ago

2:26
First full week of Sen. Menendez’s federal corruption trial comes to a close

First full week of Sen. Menendez’s federal corruption trial comes to a close

2:24
New Jersey man dubbed ‘most frequent flyer’ hits 24 million miles in the sky

New Jersey man dubbed ‘most frequent flyer’ hits 24 million miles in the sky

2:05
36th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival to take place this weekend at Silver Lake Park

36th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival to take place this weekend at Silver Lake Park

3:17
Peapack-Gladstone residents, business owners split on decision to euthanize geese in borough

Peapack-Gladstone residents, business owners split on decision to euthanize geese in borough

1:30
Scottie Scheffler, charged with assault after officer dragged near fatal crash, tees off at PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler, charged with assault after officer dragged near fatal crash, tees off at PGA Championship

1:36
Hoboken introduces ordinance banning single-use food items in take-out orders. See the plan.

Hoboken introduces ordinance banning single-use food items in take-out orders. See the plan.

0:50
Main Street New Jersey: Restaurants, businesses to visit in downtown Somerville

Main Street New Jersey: Restaurants, businesses to visit in downtown Somerville

PSE&G warns of balloon, kite and drone hazards during outdoor celebrations

PSE&G warns of balloon, kite and drone hazards during outdoor celebrations

0:28
Bayonne fire captain honored for saving swimmer in Virginia

Bayonne fire captain honored for saving swimmer in Virginia

0:21
Police warn of phony $100 bills scam in Pompton Lakes

Police warn of phony $100 bills scam in Pompton Lakes

0:32
New Jersey’s Lucy the Elephant ranks No. 1 must-see roadside attraction in the US

New Jersey’s Lucy the Elephant ranks No. 1 must-see roadside attraction in the US

0:20
Prosecutor: Driver in fatal Newark pedestrian strike charged with suspended license

Prosecutor: Driver in fatal Newark pedestrian strike charged with suspended license

0:23
FDA approves first self-test for cervical cancer

FDA approves first self-test for cervical cancer

0:21
Robert's Cleaners in Sayreville returning customer’s clothing after car crash closes business

Robert's Cleaners in Sayreville returning customer’s clothing after car crash closes business

2:01
Paws & Pals: Luke, 2-year-old mastiff mix, is looking for his forever home

Paws & Pals: Luke, 2-year-old mastiff mix, is looking for his forever home

0:23
New York Rangers beat Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 to advance to Eastern Conference Final

New York Rangers beat Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 to advance to Eastern Conference Final