Pols to Hold Forum on West Side Nightlife

By Mathew Katz on January 17, 2012 12:03pm 

Several residents in Hell's Kitchen have complained that Traffic is too loud, particularly when its garage-style doors are open.
Several residents in Hell's Kitchen have complained that Traffic is too loud, particularly when its garage-style doors are open.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

HELL'S KITCHEN — With dozens of new liquor licenses granted and a handful of huge new clubs coming to the West Side,  many frustrated Hell's Kitchen residents say they've had enough.

Angry locals will have the chance Thursday to tackle one of the biggest changes to the area in a decade: the West Side, they believe, has become a destination for drunk revelry.

State Sen. Tom Duane (D-Manhattan) is hosting a community forum at Local 802, 322 W. 48th St. at 6 p.m. The goal of the forum is to work toward solving issues related to the rise of new nightlife in the area.

Representatives from the state Liquor Authority, the NYPD's 10th and Midtown North precincts, FDNY and the city's Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection departments will also be there. The event's also being co-sponsored by several other elected officials, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

Members of several block associations — not to mention nightlife lovers — also are expected to attend.

Many community residents say the problem has been growing and the glut of new bars in Hell's Kitchen has led to a wide range of trouble.

Hell's Kitchen neighbors say the SLA is allowing too many bars to move into what was once a residential patch of Manhattan. That collective rage has bubbled into public protests.

Traffic, a popular Hell's Kitchen bar, has repeatedly been called to task for being too loud and having a disruptive clientele. Boxers, a bar that wants to open in a location immediately adjacent to Public School 111, and across from Sacred Heart of Jesus School, has also been targeted.

The SLA is likely to make a final decision on Boxers on Wednesday.

More nightclubs are expected to open over the next year. The 14,000-square foot XL Nightclub plans to launch this month, and La Boom, a three-floor Latin nightclub, will likely open by the end of 2012.

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