WILLIAMSBURG — Turkey's Nest Tavern, known for its giant plastic foam cups filled with beer or frozen absinthe margaritas, may have to raise its prices after the city bans Styrofoam in July.
Prices of popular margaritas, which currently cost $7 for 16 ounces, may have to go up to cover any additional cost for the eco-friendly cups, said owner Steve Ehrseman after Mayor Bill de Blasio banned single-use Styrofoam products in the city.
"We'll replace the cups, there will be an increase in the price," Ehrseman said, "and the price of living in New York goes up."
The 35-year-old bar near McCarren Park at 94 Bedford Ave. goes through roughly 2,000 Dart foam cups a week. Ehrseman has not yet calculated the price difference for eco-friendly cups.
"Now we'll be known for the environmentally friendly cups," Ehresman said.
Politicians don't seem to care about the impact that such decisions will have on mom-and-pop businesses like his, he said.
The bar started using its signature foam cups about 30 years ago. Cardboard cups were used during the bar's first five years, Ehrseman said, but they fell apart too easily.
Since the switch, the dive bar has been known for its use of plastic foam cups, which many people sneak out to drink in McCarren Park despite a sign on the bar's front door warning that no drinks can leave the premises.
Using more environmentally friendly cups won't impact the character of the bar, said Barabara Epler, who was in the bar Thursday afternoon with a friend playing Big Buck Hunter.
She's glad the ban is in place, she said, and a slight increase in prices to compensate would be "OK" due to how cheap the drinks are already.
"They're a good deal," Epler said.
And local John Ryan said Turkey's Nest is just a "happy feel-good place" that will be fine without its signature foam cups.
"People are coming here with or without the cups," Ryan said.
The Turkey's Nest isn't the only bar losing it's signature foam, and upping its prices.
The South Street Seaport's Jeremy's Ale House has been using 32 ounce foam cups to serve up beer for nearly 40 years.
The 228 Front St. bar will switch to glass mugs when the ban starts, and will increase prices, though they haven't settled on how much just yet, Jeremy's general manager said.
Beer poured into the big cups now costs between $6.50 and $10.
Bar regular Simi Climo, 33, said he won't miss the foam, and a price increase on the relatively cheap pour doesn't worry him.
"I don't mind losing the Styrofoam," Climo said. "But they'll probably want to look for a new gimmick — the big Styrofoam has been their thing for a long time."