LONG ISLAND CITY – Hunters Point may be saturated with bars and restaurants, but local residents and members of Community Board 2 showed overwhelming support for booze being served at MoMA PS1.
A joint liquor license application submitted by PS1 and the owners of M. Wells Dinette, who ran foodie hotspot M. Wells until it closed last year, got the nod from the City Service and Public Safety Committee of Community Board 2 to serve liquor at M. Wells Dinette, which is scheduled for a June launch inside PS1.
“We think it’s going to be a terrific collaboration,” said Joseph Conley, the community board’s chairman, after the vote at a public meeting Tuesday night at St. Mary’s RC Church in Hunters Point.
The committee recommended that the State Liquor Authority approve the joint application.
The contemporary art museum, located at 22-25 Jackson Ave., has been a major cultural attraction for more than three decades, but has lacked “a proper restaurant,” said Peter Katz, PS1’s chief operating officer.
"We want to be a world class museum, but we also want to be a museum for Long Island City. We want to be a good neighbor to the community,” said Katz, acknowledging residents' concerns about noise in the area.
Alan Gardner, the attorney handling the issue of behalf of the applicants, said the museum has been forced to apply for separate temporary permits to serve alcohol for each of its events.
“We just felt that with such a variety of different kinds of events that PS1 may be running, it would be more convenient to have a single liquor license,” he said.
Many residents spoke in favor of the application and praised the owners of the restaurant – chef Hugue Dufour and his wife Sarah Obraitis, who said they plan to reopen another version of the restaurant in the near future.
M. Wells Dinette will seat up to 55 people and serve “eclectic food,” said Obraitis.
The SLA is expected to make its decision on the license before the June launch.