That liquor-license moratorium that Community Board 1 voted to impose on Williamsburg and Greenpoint may have hit a bit of a roadblock.
As part of a story about the proposed moratorium, The Wall Street Journal spoke with William Crowley, a spokesman for the State Liquor Authority. Much to the presumed dismay of CB1’s Executive Committee, he told the paper that “we don’t think we can legally” do a moratorium, as the “courts have told us we can’t just do a blanket denial for a whole class of licenses whether it be an area or a specific type of license.”
Instead, it’s possible that CB1 could follow the lead of Manhattan’s CB3, which restricts licenses in areas that are already saturated with licensed established. And, as anyone who has ever attempted to get a license in those areas can tell you, a restriction is as good as a moratorium.
Speaking of license oversaturation, a police captain at the Lower East Side’s 7th Precinct told DNAinfo that the practice of bar and club bouncers accepting cash bribes from underage patrons is “very prevalent” in the area.
Mason Dixon and Los Feliz — which the NYPD shuttered earlier this month due to accusations of underage drinking — are but a tip of the icepick: Since last October, the 7th Precinct has issued 331 nightlife-related summonses for disorderly conduct in the neighborhood, with 274 of those summonses for incidents occurring between East Houston and Delancey streets, up and down Orchard and Ludlow streets.
In other words, there’s a reason that part of the neighborhood is called Hell Square.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 19, 2011