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Over the last several years, as the Pier A project went from being the money pit of the city, to money pit of the BPCA, then to being a pure gift from the tax payers to the Poulakakos restaurant group, the BPC committee of the CB1 has opposed the possibility that the event space will be a source for noise and disruption. Then, in a dramatic 180 degree turn, the CB1 members became huge supporters this month of anything the Poulakakos group proposed, including a 4:00 AM liquor license with party boats docking.
What caused this about-face? Did supporters of the Poulakakos group, such as the BPCA and Goldman Sachs, convince the CB1 to look the other way, and in turn be rewarded somehow?
Pier A is a stones throw away from luxury condominiums at the Ritz-Carlton, Visioniare, Millennium, and others. Quiet Wagner park is adjacent to the pier. Having any form of liquor license approved in such a neighborhood is challenging, and a 4:00 AM license is unheard of. Even in industrial parts of the city, event spaces, such as Spring Studio, have been attacked by the CB1.
During the monthly CB1 meeting on March 25th, the Pier A liquor license approval was passed to allow a 4:00 AM closing time. The resolution is a non-binding symbolic vote that sways the New York Liquor Authority (NYSLA). The authority has the final say.
During the CB1 discussion on March 25th, Tribeca members of the CB1 were astonished that such a resolution was even up for a vote. Tricia Joyce warned that the community would be rebelling and demanding remediation of the license if late night drunks invaded the esplanade. However, opposing her, lawyer and CB1 member Jeff Galloway astonishingly claimed that no apartments were near Pier A, which is irrefutably false. He went on to say that the community wants Pier A to thrive at 4:00 AM and that it would be good for the community.
Piling on, CB1 member Tammy Meltzer, who has been on record opposing party boats docking at Pier A for noise reasons, now fully supports a 4:00 AM license. She too claimed that the community craves a “thriving” late night drunken scene like exists now on Stone Street in FiDi.
The lame duck CB1 board, many of whom will be voted off the Community Board soon as new members are chosen by Manhattan Borough President Brewer, went forward with a vote to approve the 4:00 AM liquor license.
The official Pier A liquor license is not even in application form with the State Liquor Authority. When it becomes an application, there will a public comment phase, then a vote at the Manhattan NYSLA offices, at 317 Lenox Avenue.
Nearby neighborhoods in the Lower East Side have formed an effective group to overturn virtually every CB3 vote to approve a liquor license. The NYSLA is very receptive to the community.
To express your concerns to the NYSLA, you can email Mike Smith Michael.Smith@sla.ny.gov