W’burg, Greenpoint bar and restaurant owners fight new liquor license rules

Proliferation of bars in neighborhoods adds to noise, chaos, says community board

Owners of bars and restaurants in Greenpoint and Williamsburg are fighting new liquor license rules targeting watering holes with outdoor beer gardens and restaurants, requiring them to install full kitchens and provide sit-down food service in order to meet the approval standards, Crain’s reported.

Local bar owners have formed an organization called Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants to fight the rules, fearing they could inhibit new eateries and bars from opening in the neighborhood.

“It’s an uninformed, uneducated, knee-jerk reaction,” said Matt Webber, owner of The Soft Spot On North 8th Street and Bedford Avenue, who had been planning an expansion. “They’re trying to stipulate us to death.”

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Mieszko Kalita, Community Board 1’s public safety chairman, argued that the number of liquor licenses in the neighborhood is excessive.

“We’re trying to tame the Wild West of bars,” he said. “It’s noise and noise and more noise. Believe it or not, some people in this neighborhood still work for a living, and it’s really hard to get up at 7 a.m. when somebody was partying next to your backyard until 4 a.m.” [Crain’s]