INWOOD — A plan to reopen the long-defunct Dyckman Marina took a step forward as a Community Board 12 committee voted to recommend that the full board support a new restaurant’s request for a liquor license.
Despite pushback from some neighbors over the size of the eatery, CB 12's economic development committee voted unanimously Tuesday to support the resolution.
Jerald Tenebaum, owner of La Marina restaurant and part of the Manhattan River Group, told the committee that he plans to have a soft-launch opening of the restaurant complex, which can seat 1,000, on May 1.
Deputy Inspector Barry Buzzetti, of the NYPD's 34th Precinct, said he was not opposed to the plan. Still, he said he hopes to continue what he called a "positive" working relationship with the owners as they iron out details about how much security personnel might be needed.
The year-round restaurant will hold 299 people and the outdoor special and private-event spaces can host 701 guests, a spokesman said. Owners also hope to incorporate a casual outdoor dining area.
The restaurant — previously presented as a seasonal establishment — will be open all year.
Community members voiced concern that a large establishment in an otherwise desolate area will only invite problems for residents who live near Dyckman Street, an area coined "Alcohol Alley" for quality of life concerns stemming from the popularity of several restaurants and bars.
“We’re at a stage here where we can prevent this from getting out of hand,” Inwood resident Maggie Clarke said.
By way of comparison, restaurants such as the River Café in Brooklyn can seat approximately 125 people and the Hudson River Café in Harlem can seat 260. The 79th Street Boat Basin, which is also a Parks Department concession, seats approximately 200 people in the seasonal space. Roseland Ballroom has a seating capacity of 800-1,000 people and a dancing capacity of 3,500.
“The community wanted a place like this,” Tenenbaum countered. “It is limited compared to other establishments like this.”
Although the owners had planned to open the concession in 2011, massive work needed to repair the site delayed the project by a year as they brought proper electricity, water and sewer lines to the space.
“It was completely off the grid,” co-owner Josh Rosen told DNAinfo last year.
La Marina, which was previously called Costera, is slated to replace a former marina that was once owned by a retired police officer who abandoned the site after he was busted for running a large-scale drug operation there.
The nefarious history of the marina has put a damper on the new plans for some residents, but La Marina owner Tenenbaum said he and his partners are committed to working with the community.
“We don’t want trouble," Tenenbaum told committee members. "We know you guys will be on us. Parks will be on us.”
Community Board 12 will vote on the economic development committee’s resolution during its general meeting on March 27. The State Liquor Authority will then have a final say as the board serves only an advisory role.