Testimony of Before the State Liquor Authority Regarding the Embassy Bar on November 16, 2005
My name is Liz Krueger and I am the State Senator representing the 26th Senate District which includes the East Side of Manhattan and parts of Midtown. I am here to express my opposition to Ohmsayin Inc.’s application for an on-premises liquor license for Embassy at 862 Second Avenue. Mr. Jonathan Hoo, Embassy’s owner, has proposed a bar located within 500 feet of several licensed establishments and its opening will negatively affect the community’s public interest. I urge the State Liquor Authority to fulfill its responsibilities under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws and reject the bar’s application.
Section 64 of the Alcohol and Beverage Control laws requires the State Liquor Authority to reject any on-premises liquor license application “in a city, town or village having a population of twenty thousand or more within five hundred feet of three existing premises licensed and operating pursuant to the provisions of section.” The law grants an exemption for those establishments which demonstrates that they will serve the “public interest.”
Within 500 feet of Embassy, nine establishments currently hold on-premise liquor licenses. Of these existing establishments, two serve liquor past midnight after their kitchens have closed. Considering the impact an additional bar will have in the TurtleBay neighborhood, the opening of Embassy will negatively impact the community’s public interest in several respects. The proposed bar is located within the densely residential Turtle Bay neighborhood and near several tall high rise residential buildings along Second Avenue. Bars and restaurants serving as bars in the after hours operate up and down Second Avenue and an additional bar is not needed. My office has been contacted by over 200 constituents expressing their opposition to the bar. Additionally, the bar is opposed by the Turtle Bay Association and Community Board Six. Embassy’s statements before Community Board Six should be considered when determining whether the bar will be good neighbors and serve the communities public interest. The proposed bar claims that it will operate a restaurant, but will also be removing tables after lunch, will hire two “security” guards and a DJ for after hours and will operate 7 days per week between 11 A.M. and 4 A.M. The description suggests that Embassy will operate primarily as a bar, not a restaurant, contributing to noise and overcrowding in the area. The SLA should consider the impacts the proposed establishment will have on the surrounding community.
For all these reasons, I oppose the pending liquor license application for Embassy.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify.