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Thomas K. Duane's Blog

Hosting a West Side Forum on Bar and Nightlife Issues

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In response to numerous inquiries and some complaints about the proliferation of nightlife establishments in Hell’s Kitchen, as well as constituent uncertainty about how the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) and other agencies make decisions, I recently hosted a forum on bar and nightlife issues.  Approximately 100 local residents attended the event, at which representatives from the SLA, CB4, the New York City Police and Fire Departments and Departments of Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection made presentations on their respective agencies’ roles and answered questions from the audience. 

The forum addressed a wide range of issues, including the liquor license process; enforcement of nightlife-related issues such as noise and traffic; and concerns about the existence of bars and clubs in residential neighborhoods.

At the forum, I promised I would post on my website text of a proposed resolution recently introduced by Manhattan Community Board 2 Chair Brad Hoylman at the Manhattan Borough Board that calls on the SLA to make the Method of Operation for every licensee available online and to require operators to physically post this information in their establishments.  A .pdf of that resolution, which has now gone back to Manhattan’s ten Community Boards for consideration, is attached below.  Currently Method of Operation information is only available to the public though a Freedom of Information Act request and making such information easily available will help facilitate enforcement of these licenses.

I also promised to post information regarding a 2010 law sponsored by New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, and which I co-sponsored, that allows the SLA to revoke a liquor license if law enforcement refers six or more instances of noise, disturbance or misconduct within a 60 day period.  The text of that law can be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/SLALaw.

I wish to thank CB4 as well as New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler, New York State Assemblymembers Dick Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal and New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer for co-sponsoring the forum. 

 I would also like to particularly thank Michael Jones, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the SLA, and Deputy Inspectors Timothy J. Beaudette and Elisa Cokkinos, Commanding Officers of the New York Police Department’s Midtown North Precinct and 10th Precincts respectively, for their participation.  

As I noted when the event began, throughout my years in public service I have found most nightlife establishments to be good neighbors and most residents to have reasonable expectations.  My office has worked closely with community boards and other neighborhood stakeholders to address establishments that do become nuisances by fostering communication and encouraging more respectful operation.  I always encourage my constituents to contact my office at (212) 633-8052 should they have any problem with a specific bar or club in their neighborhood. 

I also encourage my constituents to attend their police precinct community council meetings as well their local community board meetings and to consider applying to become public members of their community board’s various committees.