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Wine and Beer to Be Served in Bryant Park on Movie Nights

By DNAinfo Staff on May 27, 2011 8:53am

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — Bryant Park will be serving up more than free films during this summer's annual movie fest.

After years of turning a blind eye to movie-goers' illegal drinking, park managers are moving forward with plans, first reported by DNAinfo, to begin serving wine and beer on the lawn Monday nights beginning this June.

"People like to bring drinks to the film festival and now we're trying to match the rules with the reality," explained Nell Wright, an event producer at the Bryant Park Corporation, which presented the plan to Community Board 5's parks committee Thursday night.

Committee members unanimously supported the plan.

While details are still being ironed out, the plan calls for sandwich purveyor ’wichcraft, which already operates a handful of kiosks in the park, to begin selling a selection of wines and beers that can be consumed on the lawn, pending approval by the State Liquor Authority.

While hard liquor will not be sold in the park, the corporation does not intend to stop movie-goers from bringing in their own drinks, which will now be officially permissible on the lawn.

"This gives the public an opportunity to not be breaking the rules," said Wright. "They will now be able to drink in the space."

Liquor is already being served on the park’s Southwest porch, which has become a popular after-work destination.

To prevent movie-goers from making scenes of their own, 'witchcraft intends to beef up its staffing and also create some sort of drink maximum system, said founder Jeffrey Zurofsky. Details are still being worked out.

Prices are expected to be similar to the porch, where beers go for $7, wines $8.

The menu for 'witchcraft might also get revamped to offer more picnic-oriented foods on movie nights.

The movie series kicks off June 20 with the Oscar-winning "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."