By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The State Liquor Authority on Wednesday, as expected, approved a liquor license for Barclays Center – but with a fixed cut-off of alcohol sales no later than 1 a.m.
Although Community Board 6 had recommended that alcohol sales be cut off at 2 a.m., Dennis Rosen, chair of the liquor authority, proposed a 1 a.m. cutoff, and his fellow commissioners agreed.
In his remarks, according to reports from several online sources, Rosen acknowledged concerns from local residents about the impact of late-night drinking on nearby residential neighborhoods.
On Nets basketball game nights, the 11 p.m. cutoff time for sales of beer and other alcohol will remain. Earlier, Brooklyn Speaks, a coalition of neighborhood organizations, had proposed a 10 p.m. cutoff time for all liquor sales, and had obtained 1,400 signatures on an online petition to that effect.
Michael Cairl, president of the Park Slope Civic Council, one of Brooklyn Speaks’ member organizations, said on Tuesday, “Although we continue to believe that an earlier cut off time is appropriate for the residential neighborhoods where Barclays Center is located, the SLA’s consideration of local impacts in requiring sales to end at 1 a.m. is a positive step in the process.”
At public forums and meetings on the issue, many neighborhood residents had brought up the fact that even though liquor sales would end at 11 p.m. at Nets games, the situation was more fluid and undefined for concerts and musical events.
Officials and community activists also complained in June about the fact that while sales in the stands would indeed end at 11 p.m., liquor sales would be allowed to go on in luxury suites until the early hours of the morning.
According to Community Board 2, Commissioner Jeanique Greene asked on Wednesday why Levy Food Services, the food and drink concessionaire for Barclays, opposed mechanical card-readers for young people’s IDs, which the board had stipulated as a condition for approval.
Levy responded that its experience at more than 70 large venues led to its belief the scanners can lead to more lax enforcement, since they can verify only that the identification is legitimate rather than confirm who the identification belongs to.
Several community leaders and public officials had urged the liquor authority to move the meeting to a site in Brooklyn, rather than hold it at its offices in Harlem.