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Uptown Board Rejects Liquor License it Previously Ok'd Amid Moratorium Push

By Carolina Pichardo | February 24, 2016 6:14pm
 A new restaurant is set to replace Rebounds NYC at 5025 Broadway in Inwood.
A new restaurant is set to replace Rebounds NYC at 5025 Broadway in Inwood.
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INWOOD — After initially agreeing to green-light a request for a new liquor license at a forthcoming restaurant — despite promises only months earlier to uphold a moratorium on approving any new licenses in the neighborhood — Community Board 12 voted to reject the application Tuesday under the watchful eye of the politician pushing the ban. 

The board's vote not to recommend supporting a new liquor license for CINCO, Inc. to the State Liquor Authority during Tuesday's general board meeting came after CB 12 pledged in late December to uphold state Sen. Adriano Espaillat's request that the community "stick together" and support the yearlong ban he is proposing as legislation in Albany.

However, the new restaurant, which is opening in the former Rebounds NYC space at 5025 Broadway, received unanimous approval for a full liquor license from the board's licensing committee less than two weeks earlier.  

Further complicating matters, the operator of the new restaurant said he was actually applying for a liquor license transfer from the old venue, something that would be allowed under the proposed moratorium. SLA records show an existing liquor license on file for the Rebounds NYC space. 

The representative for CINCO, Inc., Ariel Ferrera, noted this during the meeting, prompting Espaillat to suggest that the board table the resolution until further review of the application. 

However, the board still voted to deny the request, with 12 members opposing it, 10 in favor and seven abstentions.

"The resolution to recommend did not pass, so it will be recorded as a resolution not to support the [on-premise liquor license]," CB12 chairman Shah Ally said after the meeting, noting the application will not go back to the committee for further review. 

Espaillat's measure, introduced late last year, requires that all new liquor license applications in a swath of Inwood be rejected for a full year to give the community board an opportunity to review current establishments, as well as the committee's liquor license approval process. 

"We have to stand for something as a community, so that folks will listen to us," Espaillat said at the meeting. "So that the state and city agencies will listen to us, and that includes the SLA."

If approved in Albany, the bill would allow any neighborhood in New York City to freeze new liquor licenses applications for one year, if the number of on-site licenses has doubled within a three-year period, Espaillat said. Only the transfer or renewal of existing licenses would be allowed. 

The owners and representative for CINCO, Inc. did not return a request for comment.