New Proposal Would Close NYC Roofs and Patios at 11 P.M.

New Proposal Would Close NYC Roofs and Patios at 11 P.M.

The Williamsburg Courier called a "bar-mageddon" this past week as Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D-Carroll Gardens) proposed a bill that would close all rooftop and backyard bars or outdoor seating at 11 p.m. on weekends and 10 p.m. on weeknights. City bars: What's your contingency plan?

The bill would apply to all bars with outdoor space less than 10 stories high or within 500 feet of residential properties. Paul Nelson, Millman's spokesperson, said that outdoor noise is one of the single biggest complaints their office receives, and it's been picking up since the start of summer.

"Right now, there's no regulation on bars with outdoor space," Nelson said, "the police department has actually thanked us for this bill because they will now know what they can do when they get a complaint."

The status of what would happen to a bar that violates the proposed regulations is unclear, Nelson said. "It's just better to have uniform regulations."

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Uniformity indeed -- but what about bars that uniformly don't get noise complaints?

Jimmy Drago, owner of Court & Spark, which falls under Millman's constituency in Carroll Gardens, said, "We don't have a lot of neighbors in our circumference, but we really try to respect them. We don't really get complaints about noise from our patio -- most complaints come from our music that's indoors."

Fortunately, Nelson said bars that demonstrate respect for their neighbors and keep noise down can approach the Community Board in their area for the green light to stay open later.

However, as the Courier reports, "in areas like Brooklyn Heights ... community boards are so anti-alcohol and noise that Borough President Markowitz ordered Community Board 2 to be a bit more liberal with their drinking and nightlife."

With Assemblywoman Millman around, New Yorkers should try to enjoy their beloved patios while they still can.

[awerner@villagevoice.com]


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