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Plattduetsche issued warning over political fundraiser

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The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office issued an official warning to Plattduetsche Park Restaurant for violating New York State Covid restrictions when it hosted a political fundraiser for Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin on Oct. 27 with 200 people in attendance.

Officials from the office reviewed photos from the event, which show attendees maintaining social distancing and wearing masks, and met with the manager of the restaurant on Nov. 4, informing him of the state laws — which prohibit gatherings of 50 or more people for a “singular social event.”

“He really thought it was OK,” as the restaurant was not open to the public, and the capacity of the outdoor dining space is about 2,500 people, Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Mike Utaro said of Plattduetsche Manager Matt Buck, describing him as “extremely cooperative.”

Buck could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Guests were required to buy tickets for the event and had to get their temperatures taken upon their entrance into the biergarten, according to the Friends of Don Clavin, which hosted the event. Additionally, they said, Plattduetsche employees asked the attendees whether they had traveled-out-of-state prior to the event, masks were required, monitors ensured that diners remained at their tables and did not get up to mingle, and tables “were spaced further apart than state guidelines required. For those reasons, the Friends argue, the “by-reservation-only dinner was not a ‘public event,’” and the Nassau County Executive’s office, which had reported the event to the Fire Marshal’s office, “should be ashamed of itself for harassing small businesses.”

“Rather,” the Friends of Don Clavin said in a statement, “ the county administration should be working to help small businesses to recover in a responsible and safe manner.”

Plattduetsche reopened on June 10, and requires all guests to enter the outdoor biergarten through a back gate, where hosts would take their temperatures before escorting them to a table and explaining the restaurant’s rules, including that everyone must wear masks in the common areas and stay six-feet apart while waiting for the bathroom. The staff also spray painted six-foot perimeters around each tale, and is required to wear face masks and visors.

It has one of the best safety protocols of all the restaurants in Nassau County, Utaro said, adding, “We hope to not have to visit again.”