Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Your opportunity to help shape CB3's liquor license future

From the EV Grieve inbox...

Community Board 3 is hosting a Policy Meeting of the SLA & DCA Licensing Committee

Thursday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. -- University Settlement at Houston Street Center -- 273 Bowery (at Houston St)

We will review and evaluate changes to Community Board 3's existing policies and procedures guiding the Board's approvals/denials of all types of liquor licenses for establishments within the CB 3 district. All previous "resolution areas" will be reviewed.

We want to hear from YOU!

Please fill out a "Request to Speak" form by 7 p.m. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes.

· What are your plans/visions for the area?
· What are your concerns, problems?
· What do you want to retain in our neighborhood?

Here's the current policy.

Some pretty big picture questions up there...What do you want to retain in our neighborhood? We could be there all night.

This comment from Daria yesterday sums up what a lot of people have been saying here in recent years:

I used to look forward to new restaurants, excited like, to see what new places we'd have to eat at. now i feel like, "let's see what new places they are building for THEM."

that pretty much sums it up. stuff that used to open around here used to excite me because I felt like they were for those of us that live here. And now I feel like they are for those who don't.

Meanwhile, the current system seems arbitrary and dysfunctional for granting licenses... Like on Avenue B, Sigmund Pretzel Shop, which closes at 8 p.m., was denied a license to sell beer and wine... Meanwhile, a few doors down, Billy Hurricane's gets the OK for a two-level bar featuring a signature drink that will be limited to two per person. (Yes, I realize that this was a transfer from Midway/Rehab... and not a new license... still)


pinhead said...

The CB's have a fundamental problem in that their only power is thumbs up/thumbs down, which has led to a recent rash of meritless approvals and arbitrary rejections. There are no follow-up powers to insure that proprietors and businesses have not misrepresented themselves during the application process. It sometimes seems like a game of "snow the CB" to get the license, and then f*ck everyone, let's make some money. Without some legislative adjustments to give the CB's real punitive teeth, I'm stumped at how any of this changes.

EV Grieve said...

Good points, Pinhead... it sometimes seems pointless... For instance, the CB3/SLA denied Forbidden City's renewal... the full CB3 did the same later... After being closed for a few weekends, Forbidden City is back open. Apparently with a liquor license.

glamma said...

that billy hurricane place really gets my goat. a travesty, pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

How about getting some people that DRINK on the board. Stetzer is a remnant of abolitionists and is out of touch.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem to me that the CB's are very effective, witness the 8 million bars that populate every EV block.

Plus.. people seem to do whatever the hell they want to do these days regardless of the law, and there's little or no consequence.

Anonymous said...

The 9th & 7th Precincts need to be on board with CB3 in regards to the resolution areas. If the NYPD takes a stance and state that they are not staffed to deal with problems if they arise it has much more impact with the SLA than residents or CB3 saying there are too many bars.

blue glass said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about getting some people that DRINK on the board. Stetzer is a remnant of abolitionists and is out of touch

you are the one that is out of touch. perhaps by too much to drink?
there are people that drink on the board. there are bar owners too. they just don't piss and puke in doorways and scream their way throghut the neighbor hood at all hours of the night. and all of them are over 21.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps anonymous is not aware that there are at least 3 bar owners on the committee ,one of whom, David Mcwaters, is anything but retiring. The issue is not bar hatred, it is one of wanting a neighborhood that is appealing and a pleasant place to live, ie, with a variety of businesses- the butcher, the baker etc. that cater to those of us who actually live here, work here, spend our dollars here, own homes here, and plan to continue living here, not for a year or two while we're in school, but for the duration.

Jill said...

As Grieve points out, Forbidden City got the thumbs down from CB3 and then their renewal was approved by the SLA. Even when their license wasn't active they were open, though supposedly they weren't serving alcohol during that time. Susan mentioned that it went through because there weren't enough complaints on file by local residents.

In order to try to figure out how the system works I've been trying to watch the SLA docket for the past two months to see if anything that has come before the Community Board appears on the agenda. I haven't seen any, and I never saw Forbidden City, maybe because the agendas are posted one or two days before the meetings, and no notifications go out when it is posted, or maybe because renewals don't get a hearing. I have no idea. I can't keep up with it or crack the code. For example, tomorrow's meeting agenda is a 15 page pdf http://www.abc.state.ny.us/system/files/agenda081110-2.pdf

The good news is that the SLA has received funding to improve their technology so their website ought to be entering the 19th century sometime in the next year or two. Or three. Or maybe never.

The point is that the Community Board's power is limited. Whether a rejection at the CB level will ultimately result in the rejection of the license by the SLA is mysterious.

Pinhead: you are so on the money, it's like a game where the rules keep changing. As far as follow up to see if an establishment is meeting their promises, that is ultimately up to the residents, who generally don't know they can complain, or don't have an investment in the community to bother. You can ask the Community Board and they will look into it. Also, you can go to the monthly precinct meeting at the 9th precinct and ask them to look into it.