Testimony At a 500 Foot Hearing Before the State Liquor Authority (SLA) Regarding the Liquor License Establishment Formerly Known as the Cheetah Club on March 2, 2004
Good morning, I am State Senator Liz Krueger and I represent the 26thSenatorial District, which includes Midtown and the East Side of Manhattan. I want to thank the SLA for allowing me the opportunity to make a statement today regarding the 500 Foot Rule with relation to the establishment formerly known as the Cheetah Club. Based on the record in this case, I urge the SLA to reject this liquor license application.
The Cheetah Club is located at 12 West 21st Street in a densely populated residential neighborhood in the southern tier of my district. The poor legal record of the Cheetah Club has been clearly established. The Cheetah Club has been cited by the 13th Precinct as being the major “problem liquor license establishment” in the area and has received 232 summonses since January 1, 2002. Based on the record of problems at this establishment, Community Board 5 opposed license renewal for the Cheetah Club in 2002. Unfortunately the renewal was granted, and the problems have remained. The situation at this venue has escalated to a degree that warrants SLA intervention under the New York State law commonly known as the Rowdy Bar Law. Furthermore, the club is located within Community Board 5’s “designated moratorium area” which is essentially “a block that is densely populated and adversely affected by loud, unruly patrons, traffic jams, volume-raised boom-boxes, strewn promotional flyers and pole-stapled promotional posters”. The location of the Cheetah Club in a heavily residential area has only exacerbated the myriad of problems that it has caused. Residents of several buildings in the area have complained to my office with increasing frequency, as well as to the offices of other elected officials and to Community Board 5, regarding problems caused by the club.
The purpose of a 500 Foot hearing is to assess whether or not a liquor license establishment, located within 500 feet of three or more liquor license establishments, is within the “public interest”, as stated in the Alcohol Beverage Control law. Clearly, based upon the presence of over a dozen other establishments within a one block radius and the continuing complaints of residents, the liquor license establishment in question is not within the public interest.
I urge the SLA to take immediate action against this problem establishment in accordance with New York State law. I believe that the lengthy record of violating the law and the encouragement of careless and lawless behavior by its patrons merits a denial of a license for the proposed establishment in Cheetah Club’s space. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.