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Chuck E. Cheese's at Atlantic Terminal Gets OK to Serve Beer and Wine

By Alexandra Leon | March 3, 2016 4:32pm | Updated on March 4, 2016 9:29am
 Chuck E. Cheese's at Atlantic Terminal has applied for a beer and wine license with the State Liquor Authority.
Chuck E. Cheese's at Atlantic Terminal has applied for a beer and wine license with the State Liquor Authority.
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FORT GREENE — A kids paradise could soon be serving up a bit of bliss for parents too.

Community Board 2’s health committee on Wednesday voted in favor of a beer and wine license application for the Chuck E. Cheese’s at Atlantic Terminal — despite concern from some members who were hesitant to vote in favor of the application due to several recent security issues at the mall.

“There are and there have been a history of security issues and concerns at that location having nothing to do with Chuck E. Cheese’s, and then some with Chuck E. Cheese’s,” said board member John Harrison.

“There have been more than a few times over the last five years in which young teenagers in large groups have had issues, and they’re not necessarily patrons of the mall or Chuck E. Cheese, but they are in and around [the mall].”

Most recently, one teen was stabbed, another slashed and a police officer maced in a brawl that broke out in September at the Atlantic Terminal McDonald’s.

One corner behind the mall was once home to an organized “fight club” in which dozens of kids gathered for daytime brawls organized on social media, according to police and residents.

Lou Dagindeau, general manager for the Atlantic Terminal Chuck E. Cheese’s, said he has three security guards patrolling the restaurant during peak hours, including three guards present between 5 and 11 p.m. due to overlapping shifts.

“We do have security, we have three security guards on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for various hours, starting from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.,” Dagindeau said at Wednesday's meeting.

Chuck E. Cheese’s, which has been on the third floor of Atlantic Terminal for 12 years, had a liquor license when it opened in 2004, but surrendered it in 2006 due to lack of demand, spokeswoman Alexis Linn said. 

But the chain is moving back into alcohol sales to appeal to a younger generation of parents.

"Now, with a largely Millennial parent population, we’re seeing more demand for beer and wine — this generation really wants to “have their cake and eat it too,” and moms & dads are looking for places that will please the whole family — not just the kids," Linn said in an e-mail statement.

"We’re focusing a lot on boosting the Chuck E. Cheese’s experience for parents (new & improved menu, enhanced service, free Wi-Fi, etc), and introducing new beer and wine options is one part of that approach."

Linn said the chain has applied for liquor licenses for its six locations in the city. If they're approved, the stores will sell one mass domestic beer like Bud Light or Miller Light, one domestic specialty beer like Blue Moon or Shock Top, a national craft beer like Sam Adams or New Castle, and one local craft beer based on customer recommendations, Linn said.

Because the application process just began, it will be at least 90 days before alcohol can be served at the New York locations, Linn said.

Chuck E. Cheese's has been serving beer and wine at the majority of its locations since opening in 1977, Linn said.

About 75 to 80 percent of Chuck E. Cheese’s currently serve beer and wine, Linn said. In 2015, the chain added craft beer options to appeal to a younger generation of moms, according to Linn.

The beer and wine options vary from location to location, Linn said.  

Chuck E. Cheese’s liquor license application will go before the full board on March 9. The State Liquor Authority will use the board’s recommendation to make a final determination for the license.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story misstated the number of crimes that took place at Atlantic Center Mall. There were 102 felony assault incidents throughout the entire precinct last year. Data for the number of incidents that took place at the mall were not immediately available.