UWS bar blames kvetching nabe for closure

August 09, 2011 03:49PM

An Upper West Side bar has ceased operations to avoid going to court against the city, the Village Voice reported. But rather than blame strict community boards, smoking laws, or other city reforms, the Blue Donkey Bar is blaming “the malicious, capricious actions of a [single] neighbor.”

The owners of the bar, at 489 Amsterdam Avenue near 84th Street, claim New York University professor Tim Tomlinson issued repeated noise complaints about the bar to the local police precint, the 311 hotline and local City Council member Gale Brewer to the point that the city slapped them with a nuisance abatement suit. The owners agreed to shut down the bar to avoid going to court.

Correspondence between Brewer’s office, Tomlinson and the police obtained by the Village Voice, show that Tomlinson did indeed complain to bar employees about noise levels since 2004, before making an onslaught of 311 calls — as many as five times during a two week stretch in Dec. 2007.

Brewer said she had held “about 50 meetings” to try to come to some middle ground between the resident and the bar, but the bar didn’t change its habits and other neighbors complained, too.

Yet a sign on the bar’s door announcing the closure places the blame squarely on the shoulders of Tomlinson. [Village Voice]