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Posted on: March 7, 2022

Hempstead Town Joins Local Bar, Business Owners to Dump Russian Vodka in Protest of Ukraine Invasion

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A group of Long Island bar and restaurant owners announced that they are boycotting all Russian vodka and other spirits in protest to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The spirit sellers said that they will no longer buy, sell or serve Russian vodka or other spirits. The bar and restaurant owners dumped out their bottles of vodka in a display of unity with the government and residents of Ukraine. Joining the bar owners and restauranteurs, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito said that they would be reaching out to all bars and restaurants in the town to encourage their owners to join the boycott. The officials are also calling on state officials to ban the sale of Russian vodka in the Empire State. The group of business owners were led by Butch Yamali, owner of Peter’s Clam Bar, the Milleridge Inn, The Maliblue, The Coral House and Hudsons Restaurant and Bar. Yamali came up with idea and approached the town officials and other business owners. 

Also attending the press conference were representatives from EGP Land and Sea, Jimmy Hays Steakhouse, Pop’s Seafood Shack and Grill, EGP Oceanside, JJ Coopers, Local Ale House in Island Park, The Beach House, Ugly Duckling Long Beach, Ugly Duckling RVC and Ugly Duckling NYC. Other Hempstead Town officials who joined the joint township/local business led effort to support Ukraine include Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Thomas Muscarella, Councilman Christopher Carini, Councilwoman Missy Miller, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver of Taxes Jeanine C. Driscoll.

“I was pleased that Butch Yamali approached the Town to develop ideas to demonstrate our anger over the Russian attack on Ukraine,” said Clavin. “What’s more, we are determined to take action that will have a negative impact on Russian exports.”

“Supervisor Clavin and I will work with our colleagues on the Town Board to encourage other business owners to join the Russian vodka boycott,” announced D’Esposito. “We are also calling upon the Governor to sign an Executive Order to ban the sale of Russian vodka and spirits at liquor retailers and other businesses that sell alcohol.”

“I reached out to Don Clavin, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito to see how we could do our part to support Ukraine and demonstrate our anger toward Putin and his regime during these troubling times,” said Yamali. “We came up with the idea of asking bar and restaurant owners to boycott all alcohol products from Russia. I hope this idea catches on and has a real impact on the Russian oligarchy and the country’s economy.”

The business owners demonstrated their displeasure with Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, smashing bottles of Russian vodkas, including Zyr Russian Vodka, Russian Standard, Beluga Noble Russian Vodka and Beluga Noble Russian Gold Vodka. They also poured out the vodka onto the ground. Business owners vowed not to stock, purchase or sell the Russian spirits in response to the Russian invasion. 

“We stand with Ukraine against the Russian invaders,” said Tim O’Hagan, owner of EGP Land and Sea. “It is time for local businesses to join the effort to put economic pressure on Putin and the Russian government.”

Hempstead Town officials will be calling upon local restaurant and bar owners to join the embargo on Russian vodka and other spirits. At the same time, Clavin, D’Esposito and their other colleagues on the Board are calling on the Governor to issue an Executive Order to ban the sale of Russian vodka and other spirits at liquor stores and other establishments that sell alcohol.

The officials also asked the public to avoid confusion when it comes to boycotting Russian vodka. They noted that many people are under the misapprehension regarding the origin of certain vodka brands. For instance, Stolichnaya vodka is made in Latvia, Skyy is manufactured in the USA, Smirnoff is produced in the U.S, Canada and several other countries (not Russia), Absolut vodka in made in Sweden and Ciroc is manufactured in France.

“We want to make sure that our efforts are aimed directly at Russia,” said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. “This initiative will demonstrate that we are united with Ukraine, and make it clear that the Putin regime is the target of our outrage,” added Councilwoman Missy Miller.

“The Russian oligarchy is a terrorist regime, and the Town of Hempstead stands firmly against its evil actions,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne. “I support the actions of Long Island restaurant and bar owners who stand strong against Putin.”

“Vladimir Putin has brought the wrath of the world upon himself because of his thirst for power at any cost,” stated Councilman Tom Muscarella.

“Let it be known the world over that America’s largest township stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” said Councilman Christopher Carini. “I am proud that so many local restaurateurs have chosen to make their voices heard via this act of defiance.”

“It is vitally important that people of good will across the world take a stand when an evil deed is perpetrated,” said Town Clerk Kate Murray. “I am glad that the business community of Hempstead Town has chosen to make their voice heard on this issue, and that they stand with Ukraine.”

“The Ukrainian struggle for freedom has rallied the world, and I am happy that the people and businesses of Hempstead Town are making their voices heard during these troubling times,” said Receiver of Taxes Jeanine C. Driscoll.

“The members of the Town of Hempstead Board are proud to stand in unity with restaurant and bar owners in their embargo of Russian vodka and spirits,” concluded Clavin. "We are going to bolster those efforts by calling upon all restaurant and bar owners in Hempstead Town to join the boycott. What’s more, we will call upon the Governor to issue and Executive Order, banning the sale of Russian spirits at liquor stores and other spirit merchants in the Empire State.”

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