Outdoor Bars Threatened by New Restrictive Bill
By Kiratiana Freelon on June 17, 2010 10:09am |
By Olivia Scheck
MANHATTAN — New Yorkers hoping to enjoy a little fresh air with their cocktails might have to do so before 11 p.m., if a new bill, proposed in the State Assembly, becomes law.
Establishments serving alcohol, which are within 500 feet or 10 stories of a residence, would be required to close their rooftop and garden spaces at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 p.m. on other nights, according to the legislation.
The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Joan Millman, would also require the bar or restaurant to have table service, as opposed to a walk-up bar, and prohibit "amplified music" within the outdoor areas.
"I have a staff member who spends about one-third of her working areas dealing with noisy bars," Robert Perris, district manager for Community Board 2 in Brooklyn, told the Wall Street Journal in defense of the bill.
But restaurant owners, like Michael Momm of the Loreley Restaurant and Biergarten on the Lower East Side, insisted that such a measure would be devastating.
"It would impact us dramatically," Momm told the Journal. "The whole draw of our German-themed concept is the beer garden, which is basically sitting outside."
Momm added that he already appeases residents by closing the garden at midnight instead of 4 a.m., which is the required closing time under current law.
The restaurateur estimated that the new law would cost him $2,000 each hour that he closed early, according to the Journal.