Members say bar fights, underage drinking were problems in past
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Is this a case of the sins of the father being visited upon the son?
The owners of a new cabaret on Bay Ridge’s “Restaurant Row” might be denied a liquor license, not because of anything they have done, but because the former bar-restaurant at that location had a troubled history that included bar brawls and underage drinking violations.
Community Board 10 voted unanimously at its March 24 meeting to urge the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) to reject the application for a liquor license submitted by 360-Sunset Partners LLC, the company which owns The Ridge Bar & Grill, at 7110-7112 Third Ave. The nightspot, which is currently undergoing renovations, is expected to open in a few weeks.
Fran Vella-Marrone, chairman of the board’s Police and Public Safety Committee, who recommended that the board vote against the liquor license application, said Café Remy, the recently closed bar-restaurant that formerly occupied the space, had several violations that included selling alcohol to underage drinkers and complaints from neighbors about disorderly patrons making a lot of noise and getting into fights on the street outside the place.
One brawl that took place last year involved more than 15 patrons, according to Vella-Marrone, who said several police units had to respond to the scene.
“This location has an adverse history,” Vella-Marrone told the community board.
At a Police and Public Safety Committee meeting on March 19, residents living on 71st and 72nd Streets, the two side-streets near The Ridge Bar & Grill, presented Vella-Marrone with a petition with more than 100 signatures urging rejection of the liquor license application. Residents told the chairman they are currently in the progress of gathering more signatures.
Café Remy closed in February and its owner surrendered the bar’s liquor license to the SLA for safekeeping. The café’s closure was due to a violation of Workman’s Compensation regulations, according to Vella-Marrone.
Despite the fact that new owners have no adverse history, the board took the action it did out of concern for what members called the inexperience of the new owners. “The applicant/owner has no experience in the restaurant or club business and his manager only has 10 months experience and this experience is as an employee of Café Remy,” Vella-Marrone said.
In addition, the fact that the owners are seeking to turn the place into a café-bar-restaurant-cabaret with live music is a cause of concern, Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann told the Brooklyn Eagle.
“It’s a large venue and the owners are planning so many activities there. When you are running a big place with a lot going on, you really need someone with experience,” Beckmann said.
A community affairs officer from the 68 Police Precinct who attended the March 19 committee meeting told committee members that Café Remy was a “problem location” that generated many 911 complaints for noise, fighting, disorderly conduct and underage drinking.
“Troubled locations tend to stay troubled,” Beckmann said.
The owners of 360-Sunset Partners LLC did not return phone calls.