A city investigation pinned a previously problematic deli grocery store in Briarwood with only one violation after multiple residents complained the store was selling “loosie” cigarettes and packs of smokes to minors.
Community Board 8 filed a complaint against the 84th Deli Grocery to the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) this April, according to District Manager Marie Adam-Ovide. The store, located at 84th Drive and Manton Street, was formerly Stop & Go before new owners took over in late 2008.
According to a spokesperson for the DCA, the city agency issued one violation for selling loosie cigarettes to an adult during inspections this May, but the store was not found to be selling tobacco to minors.
However, numerous violations for selling alcohol to minors — accumulated since 2006 under previous owners — did cause the New York State Liquor Authority to revoke the deli’s liquor license in November 2009, records showed.
The store — which no longer sells alcohol — has stayed out of trouble for the most part since then, said manager Mohammed Ahmed.
Ahmed, who worked for a couple of months under the former owners, said he makes sure his employees always ask for proper identification to avoid repeating problems of the past.
“You have to do that,” he said. “How much profit could you make on one pack of cigarettes if you get a ticket?”
Deli employee Sharif Sagar, 36, said he IDs unfamiliar faces who are seeking smokes, but leaves the store’s regulars alone.
“We always ask for ID,” he said. “But if I’ve known you for a long time, I’m not going to ask you again because I checked already.”
The store’s new owners were barred from applying for a new liquor license for two years after it was terminated, but they are now eligible for one, Ahmed said.
The NYPD did not return calls for comment, but Adam-Ovide said police have not seen any illegal sales so far.