Boxers License Drama Continues as State Liquor Authority Delays Decision

By Mathew Katz on February 15, 2012 4:20pm 

Boxers co-owners Bob Fluet and Rob Hynds show members of the Hell's Kitchen 50th-51st Street Block Association designs for their new bar on Sept. 29, 2011.
Boxers co-owners Bob Fluet and Rob Hynds show members of the Hell's Kitchen 50th-51st Street Block Association designs for their new bar on Sept. 29, 2011.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

HARLEM — After months of back and forth arguing over Boxers' Hell's Kitchen location, battle-weary residents will have to wait a little bit longer to learn the sports bar's fate.

After nearly two hours of testimony at a meeting of the State Liquor Authority's full board, its chairman, Dennis Rosen, decided to put off the decision whether or not to award a liquor license to the bar at 766 10th Ave. until Feb. 29, giving the principal of a local school time to provide evidence she says will prove the bar is too close to a regularly-used entrance to her school to clear state bar regulations.

The bar is seeking to open in a building that's adjacent to P.S. 111's schoolyard and across from Sacred Heart of Jesus School. Opponents say that would violate the state's rule against bars being within 200 feet of a school entrance, but the bar's lawyer, Donald Bernstein, argued that Boxers does not violate a ban on liquor-serving establishments near schools.

But the school's principal, Irma Medina, said that a gated entrance to the schoolyard on West 52nd Street is regularly used by students coming from and going to the school during warmer months.

Bernstein said that in his observation the entrance, which is roughly 150 feet from the bar, is not regularly used.

Rosen asked Medina to provide proof that the gate was regularly used by students, which will be considered at the Feb. 29 hearing.

"Go back over two to three years and find what, if any, written record you have showing that you communicate, as a matter of school policy, that the gate is open and available," he said. "Any paper trail whatsoever."

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