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'No' Vote for Nightclub that Strives to be Like 'Applebee's'

By Carla Zanoni | March 7, 2012 8:39am

SHERMAN CREEK — Owners of a proposed Inwood lounge that wants to throw late night parties for crowds of up to 200 people, all while maintaining a vibe like an Applebee’s restaurant, has received a no vote on its liquor license application from Community Board 12.  

The board unanimously voted down a proposal from the owners of Vacca Lounge during its general meeting last week, urging the State Liquor Authority to deny a liquor license application for the Inwood newcomer.

CB12 rejected the proposal after hearing the owners had presented a plan to the economic development committee in early February, which stated that the restaurant was slated to entertain 120 to 200 people with live music and DJs and remain open from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday. 

“It will be similar in style to Applebee’s,” Miguel Acosta, a restaurant representative, told the committee, referring to the national restaurant chain.

If the license is approved, the restaurant owners plan to renovate a vacant auto mechanic shop at 416-420 W. 203rd St, near Ninth Avenue, in the industrial stretch of Inwood near Sherman Creek. The area already plays host to several nightclubs and lounges and has had its share of nightlife problems in the past. 

According to Community Board 12, the 34th Precinct did not oppose the application, but voiced concern about increased traffic in the area, because of its proximity to the sometimes-raucous nightclub Umbrella, nearby on West 202nd Street.

Community residents said they were concerned about the addition of another nightclub in the area, which is also home to the private Manhattan Bible Church school.

“There’s a lot of businesses here, but there are homes and a school too,” said Inwood mother of two Damarys Carrasquillo, 33. “People forget we've got to sleep here too.”

The State Liquor Authority will have final say on the license application, as the board serves only an advisory role, but agency officials said it had not yet received an application from the owners.