BY JON CRONIN
After residents spoke out against the Rockaway Brewery Company using their farm license to establish LaPlaya NYC, a 4,000 square foot outdoor beach party in Ridgewood, a petition was sent around by residents and a letter was written by Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside).
Neighbors of the proposed beach party are concerned about the potential traffic, ambient customer noise and garbage customers may bring.
After hearing of the opposition, Nolan sent a letter to the State Liquor Authority stating, “I support and share these concerns. The location would be an open air location where beer would be served. Its proposed hours of operation would extend to midnight most nights including weekday evenings. This will maximize the negative impact such an establishment will have on the nearby residential properties and residents’ daily lives making it completely inappropriate at this location. I oppose this licensure very strongly, particularly the very rapid start date.”
Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5, said the lot where the beach party will take place is located at 176 Woodward Ave. and reaches from Woodward Avenue between Starr and Troutman streets south towards Onderdonk Avenue. He noted that CB 5 is in discussion with the City Department of Buildings to figure out whether or not they are allowed to have this pop-up beach party.
Giordano said he was told by Marcus Bernett, one of the owners of Rockaway Brewing Company, that they would not have more than 75 people at the location.
He said the entire lot was originally zoned for manufacturing, but last year the owner applied for a zoning change to make it residential with commercial overlay.
Giordano said the owners plan to build, starting in September, a complex with 126 apartment, 63 parking spaces, and a commercial space along Woodward Avenue. Once the complex is built the commercial overlay will extend along Woodward Avenue for 100-ft depth. He believes, if that the owner wants to, they might be able to have a bar or a restaurant there.
He told Bernett, “If you’re going to be permitted to do this, keep music at a reasonable level and be respectful to the community. I don’t want people leaving intoxicated and causing trouble in the neighborhood.”
Bill Crowley, SLA spokesman, said they received petitions and the letter from Nolan. He noted that under different circumstances the SLA’s staff would approve the liquor license but since they have opposition, it will have to go before the SLA board.
Crowley said they recently sent the Rockaway Brewery Company a deficiency letter because they have yet to get state approval for doing business as LaPlaya NYC and not sending in photos of the interior of the proposed business.
He believes the Rockaway Brewing Company will be before the SLA in the second half of June. Crowley added that residents are welcome to come to Manhattan and give a statement before the board.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin