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First Popular Late-Night Bar Hit by Bushwick Sunday Midnight Curfew

By Meredith Hoffman | April 19, 2013 7:19am

BUSHWICK — The first of Bushwick's late-night mainstays may soon have to bid its revelers sweet dreams early on Sundays, if the local community board has its way.

Tandem Bar — whose fog machine, dance parties, cheap drinks and drag shows are a magnet for night owls off the Jefferson L train stop — was issued a midnight Sunday closing time by Bushwick's Community Board 4 as part of the board's new district-wide bar curfew after the watering hole sought its liquor license renewal this month. 

"They said they wanted to close at 2 a.m. because their business is more plentiful from 12 to 2 every day of the week, especially Sunday," said Barbara Smith, chairwoman of Board 4's public safety committee, of Tandem's owners. "We're only doing this for everyone's safety, because it's quiet that time of night...This is a blanket request for everyone that you close at midnight."

Tandem's owner Jane Virga said that she would indeed lose business if forced to close at midnight, but after the board's decision, she said only that she was "happy to work it out with the community board."

"We're on a residential street...we've established relationships with our neighbors," Virga said.

The board also requested that Tandem add bouncers after a number of noise complaints about the establishment. Virga said she was already planning to increase security.

"We already had them four days a week," she said of the security guards, "and we're adding them the other three."

Ultimately, the State Liquor Authority will decide whether Tandem, and all other Bushwick bars, must adhere to the Sunday midnight curfew.

But to the board members, the curfew is the most logical solution to the area's new booming nightlife.

"People have to get up and go to work," Smith said. "We're not picking and choosing who follows this rule — we're asking everyone in the Bushwick community to please give other people consideration."