Bryant Park Beer and Wine Service Nixed

By DNAinfo Staff on June 21, 2011 6:49pm  | Updated on June 22, 2011 8:46am

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — The Bryant Park Corporation has abandoned its plan to sell wine and beer at the park during its 2011 summer movie series, after the park's partners yanked their support for the plan at the last minute.

"They decided to leave things as they are this season," said corporation spokesman Joe Carella, who said some of the park's partners voiced opposition to the plan in the weeks before the first Bryant Park movie night Monday.

Carella said that despite the change in heart, the corporation will continue to seek approval from Community Board 5, whose parks committee had enthusiastically supported the plan, to offer wine and beer in the future.

It was unclear whether the corporation would continue to pursue its application with the State Liquor Authority, but service remains a possibility for future seasons, Carella said.

For years, the park had turned a blind eye to movie-goers' illegal drinking, allowing them to enjoy wine, beer and fruity cocktails within the lawn's cordoned-off viewing area without fear of admonition.

The plan had been intended to legalize something viewers have always done.

"People like to bring drinks to the film festival and now we're trying to match the rules with the reality," Nell Wright, an event producer at the Bryant Park Corporation had explained when she presented the plan to the board's parks committee last month.

In addition to community board members, the plan also had the support of sandwich purveyor ’wichcraft, which had intended to begin selling a selection of wines and beers that could be consumed on the lawn, pending approval by the SLA.

The movie series kicked off last night with the Oscar-winning "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and it's director Milos Forman — but no bar service.

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