Matt Baumgartner, the owner of multiple bars and establishments in the Capital Region, was active - and clearly very frustrated - on Twitter over the weekend.  On Friday, it was learned that one of his places got popped for not practicing proper COVID protocol and lost it's liquor license as a result.  Baumgartner took to social media on Saturday to offer his version of the story and even defended his staff at Wolff's Biergarten in Schenectady after they lost their liquor license at the hands of the New York State Liquor Authority.

According to a report by the Times Union, the popular Wolff's Biergarten lost their license Friday evening after it was deemed they violated several codes of COVID safety.  Among them, per the report, were patrons sitting “elbow to elbow the entire length of the bar” as well as at least "13 people were standing or walking without masks."  There was also a claim of a Wolff's staff member not wearing a mask.

Matt Baumgartner owner of Wolff's Biergarten has locations in Albany, Troy, Syracuse and Schenectady.  The Schenectady location was the only one that violated protocol and according to the Times Union, the other locations will not incur any penalty.

Baumgartner currently owns and operates 7 successful bars and restaurants in the Capital Region and is the proprietor of June Farms in West Sand Lake.  He's widely regarded as someone who takes a very serious approach to his ventures (including everything COVID related)  but he wasn't shy about voicing his displeasure in the SLA's decision to take away Wolff's liquor license.

On Saturday he tweeted out, “It is confusing the SLA doesn’t give businesses the courtesy of citing us WHILE THEY ARE AT THE BAR, WHILE THE VIOLATIONS ARE HAPPENING."

He makes a pretty strong and compelling argument and added that if they did this, it "would give bar owners an opportunity to correct the ‘COVID-spreading behavior’ immediately.”

In his tweet from Saturday, Baumgartner noted that he was not "disputing" the claims that he's simply voicing his opinion about what he feels are unfair actions lobbied against his place and his staff.  He went on to say that his  "managers are doing a great job and I stand by them.”

The thing I've always respected about Matt is that he's a stand-up guy and he pulls no punches.  He's frustrated over the decision, and that's understandable, but he doesn't make any excuses.  In the closing paragraph of his tweet on Saturday, he pointed out that he's truly doing the best he can and that it's not easy.

"But I will try harder." he said.

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