When should the 18,000 attendees stop drinking alcohol during events?
During a Community Board 6 general board meeting on Wednesday night, members voted to recommend an absolute cut-off time for all alcohol sales at 2 a.m. during all events at the arena, which is scheduled .
However, CB6’s recommendation, which will go to the New York State Liquor Authority, came with two conditions that follow the policy for events and NBA games:
- During all NBA games no alcohol can be sold after the third quarter.
- All alcohol sales cease an hour before the end of any other event.
But the decision, which took a couple times to count and recount before the final vote of 21 in favor and nine opposed was established, CB6 considered the fact that .
Some members said that alcohol should not be sold past 10 p.m., others said midnight should be the latest and others said that the community should not interfere with the arena’s business model and that the communities should trust Levy Restaurants, which has 85 other liquor licenses throughout North America.
Nica Lalli, a member of CB6 and Park Slope resident said that it is the board’s responsibility to vote on restrictions on how long the Barclays Center should sell alcohol.
“If this is an opportunity to stipulate hours, I think we should take that opportunity,” Lalli said, explaining that the board recommends hours and regulations for every bar and establishment that stands before them to apply for a liquor license.
Before the vote, Richard Bashner, another member, said that he was “troubled” by the “absence of restrictions” Levy Restaurants would have if the board did not vote on a recommendation.
Bashner, along with Lalli, suggested that alcohol should stop being sold at half time during NBA games, 45 minutes before the end of any other event and a hard cutoff time of 10 p.m., whichever came first. His suggestion was in line with .
Lou Sones, a member of CB6’s executive committee, pointed out that under the law, Levy is allowed to sell alcohol until 4 a.m. But with its NBA policies booze sales would stop at the end of the third quarter of any game and an hour before any concert or event.
Sones said that the community should trust Levy, who he said has “a good track record” with their other liquor licenses at stadiums like Wrigley Field and the Staples Center.
He also said that CB6 should not interfere with the arena’s ability to make as much money as it can.
“We should not be tampering with a huge business model in the neighborhood,” Sones said.
Another member said that midnight would be “too early,” especially if the arena was going to hold events on New Year’s Eve and other late-night holidays.
After the vote Gib Veconi, told the board about Brooklyn Speaks’ petition to make a hard cutoff time at 10 p.m.
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“I am disappointed with the 2 a.m. cutoff,” Veconi stated. “It compares unfavorably with Levy’s other liquor licenses like Wrigley Field, which stops selling alcohol at 9:30 p.m.”
Lalli said that she has a friend who lives on Dean Street next to the arena who is extremely unhappy about the possibility that arena-goers will be able to drink until 4 a.m.
“She is practically in tears because she said the arena will ruin her neighborhood,” Lalli said, claiming that she has never stayed at a bar until closing time. “I don’t understand the 4 a.m. law. I think it is a random time and I wasn’t going to leave this meeting without setting some kind of restrictions.”
Lalli added that although she was hoping for a 10 p.m. cutoff, the absolute last call at 2 a.m. the board approved is not as bad as the state legal limit.
“I don’t think you need to sell alcohol until 4 a.m. in order to make money,” Lalli said. “If that was the case, then Yankees Stadium would be out of business.”