2am last call sneaking up on NYC bars: be afraid, be VERY afraid!!!
I was shocked, alarmed, and very pissed off to read that many Community Boards in several of NYC’s more tony neighborhoods are flexing their “advisory” muscle by rejecting applications for new liquor licenses unless they have a 2am closing time! And that’s weekends, folks, 2am on the WEEKEND.
From this article that ran on Gothamist, it appears that the Community Boards aren’t even sending applications up to the State Liquor Authority (SLA) unless the closing times are to their liking:
While the New York State Liquor Authority can’t arbitrarily impose a specific closing time before 4 a.m., Community Boards have been demanding bar owners agree to curfews before they recommend approval to the SLA. The Sun looked at the most recent records available from Community Board 3, which covers the East Village and the Lower East Side, and found that not a single liquor license recommendation was granted to a bar that would close after 3 a.m. on weekends and 2 a.m. on weekdays.
The New York Sun ran an article reporting that Community Board influence in recommending liquor licenses has never been stronger, and the NYPost followed up with an article quoting lawyer Robert Bookman, an attorney for the New York Nightlife Association, saying if 2am closings become the norm “We might as well rename ourselves Cleveland-on-the-Hudson.”
I will keep abreast of developments in this topic. I find it the height of irony that the very people who came to NYC to “make it” twenty years ago are now walking around TriBeCa with double strollers and overpriced coffee drinks, sitting on Community Boards and suffocating the life out of the city they helped create! Makes me SICK.