Backlash Against Bars

After linking to Greg Hanlon’s piece on liquor license moratoriums last night, I came across a very similar piece by Sumathi Reddy in today’s Wall Street Journal (via Brownstoner).

Both Reddy and Hanlon do an excellent job of highlighting the futility of actions like the proposed liquor license moratorium. Past experience at CB1 in Brooklyn (years ago) and CB3 in the East Village (much more recently) shows that moratoriums have no effect.

For those that think that there are too many bars, the SLA is not the answer. As an SLA rep told Hanlon, “the general presumption of this agency is that it’s going to be approved unless there’s a reason not to approve it.”

For those (like myself) who believe that we need to do more to rein in problem establishments, the SLA is only part of the answer. Stopping problem places before they happen (and they are usually pretty easy to spot) requires a lot of proactive work on the part of the Community Board. Making the case against specific applications or specific locations. Following up with state and local electeds, City agencies and the SLA. Going to hearings. Addressing problem places after the fact requires a lot more of the same, and ultimately, getting local agencies such as NYPD, NYFD, Consumer Affairs, DOB and the like to take action.

In other words, it is a lot of work and requires a lot of follow through.