So, just a quick check-in on something people might be getting upset about today, other than the not-actually-sexist-but-still-maybe-it’s-sexist Times profile about Christine Quinn’s tendency to yell at people. Specifically, news that Bushwick’s Community Board 4 has suggested a rule banning the sale of alcohol at neighborhood bars after midnight on Sunday nights. A rule it has absolutely no authority to enforce, and that DNAinfo reports is “just an advisory unless the State Liquor Authority votes to approve it.” In other words, a rule that’s attention-grabbing, sure, but very unlikely to ever become a serious legal reality.
Still, it does make sense that this is a point of contention. The Community Board wouldn’t have proposed such an extreme measure if they weren’t seriously unhappy with the rapid changes (and endless string of new bars) heading into the neighborhood, and hoping to prove a point.
And members of the local bar industry are in the right to complain, because even if you don’t do most of your drinking between midnight and 4 a.m. on Sunday nights, demanding that bars close during prime money-making hours is an extreme measure from a business owner’s perspective. “The majority of our alcohol sales occur after midnight,” said Skytown Cafe owner Jeff Pan.
Bodega and Heavy Woods owner Ben Warren concurred, “It gets imposing when they start trying to close down the hours. Of course as a bar owner it’s great to stay open as much and as late as possible.”
Of course. So, depending on your leanings, there’s sympathy to be had on both sides of this debate. Sympathy that we can maybe reserve until the Liquor Authority of a state with a massive, lucrative nightlife industry agrees to cut local businesses off at the knees in a largely unprecedented fashion. When that happens, let’s re-group.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.