Rowdy Bar Hikes Drinking Age to 25 to Pacify Neighbors
COLUMBIA STREET WATERFRONT DISTRICT — A Columbia Street bar is hiking the weekend drinking age to 25 after patrons' early morning drunken antics sparked outrage from frustrated neighbors.
Isabel Santiago, restaurant manager at Phil’s Crummy Corner at 323 Columbia St., told DNAinfo New York that in the wake of complaints about rowdy crowds, discarded beer bottles on the street, and late-night shouting that wakes up locals, they are raising the bar's age limit to 25 to pacify irate locals on busy weekend nights.
“Their quality of life is our concern,” said Santiago, adding that the bar has been working to create a "quiet family place.” She added that they recently hired a bouncer. “We are diligently working on that.”
Since Phil's is also a family restaurant, the new drinking age is primarily enforced after 10 p.m. on weekends, according to a bar employee.
But some who worked in the bar said they plan to make an exception for some younger customers who "are well known to the owner," according to sources.
The bar is notorious for its Friday and Saturday night parties, which critics say drag on until 2 and 4 a.m.
“You will be shocked about the number of conversations you can hear from my bed,” one resident who lives near the bar said at the meeting. “They're animals. Friday and Saturday night, it’s like animal town.”
While only two residents attended the meeting, who asked not to be named for safety concerns, complaints against Phil’s total nearly two dozen over the last year.
Since December 2012, 22 311 calls have been made for loud music or parties in and around Phil’s Crummy Corner. Most complaints, some also for loud talking, are made for the Columbia Street block between Hamilton Avenue and Woodhull Street — just around the corner from the bar.
Residents say they’ve often seen patrons drinking on the street and leaving their beer bottles on the sidewalk and in their planters. In September, a 25-year-old woman was punched and kicked by a group of people outside Phil’s Crummy Corner early in the morning, according to police.
CB6’s assistant district manager Leroy Branch and Vincent Marrone, the precinct’s community affairs officer, said they would speak to Capt. Justin Lenz, the new commanding officer, to find a way to curb the bar chaos.
Residents also complained that patrons were illegally parking on the sidewalk and near fire hydrants. Santiago, however, said the parking violations didn’t always come from their customers.
Branch and Marrone discussed a possible increase in weekend police presence and ordering the bar to post notices asking patrons to respect their neighbors.
The residents credited the precinct and the bar for their efforts in quieting Phil’s clientele, but added that more action and responsibility needed to be taken.
“I just care about being able to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights,” one local said. "That’s all I care about.”