By midday Wednesday, Save Chelsea's petiton had gleaned 130 signatures from opponents, many of whom identified themselves as neighborhood residents. Critics voiced their concerns about losing the peace and quiet at Pier 62 that they say is in short supply in the area.
"This is a lovely tranquil spot and should not be ruined by toilets, beer kegs and revelers," wrote petition signer Joan Reibman. "Please protect our few areas of refuge."
Other petitioners worried about the loss of public space to a private establishment.
"[Hudson River Park Trust] should not be an actor in the erosion of public space for private profit. That's the opposite of their mission" wrote Pamela Wolff, a long-time Chelsea resident.
"They should be leading the [troops] struggling to hold the line against privatization."
"It's a park, for [all] of us, not just those who can afford a $12 martini," Wolff wrote.
Last week, local elected officials including State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, State Senator Brad Hoylman, City Councilman Corey Johnson and Borough President Gale Brewer expressed concerns about the park's proposal.
The Hudson River Park Trust has had plans for a beer garden at Pier 62 for more than two years.
The proposed beer garden would take up the central part of Pier 62, leaving the walkway around the outside of the pier open to the public and would share the pier with a carousel and a skate park.
The park's board had determined that a beer garden would "activate one of the most underutilized areas of the park," wrote Madelyn Wils, president of Hudson River Park Trust in a letter to the board in early November.
The trust signed a lease with Merchants Hospitality, which owns several restaurants and hotels in the area, in April 2014. Merchants began applying for a full liquor license earlier this year, but community opposition sent them back to the drawing board, according to the trust.
When they returned for a second time in November, their design eliminated bleacher seating, decreased its capacity from 300 to 200, and opened the space to the public in addition to customers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, according to a letter addressed to the community board.
"We are listening to the community and seriously considering their concerns," a spokesman for the park's trust wrote in response to the petition.
The restaurant's liquor license comes before the full community board on Dec. 4. After that, the application will go to the state liquor authority, which has the final say on whether or not to grant a license.