BY LUIS GRONDA
A proposed outdoor restaurant in Ridgewood got one step closer to getting a liquor license.
The trio of business owners looking to open The Back Yard Restaurant at 56-06 Cooper Ave. in Ridgewood got their beer/wine application recommended for approval by Community Board 5. The board voted 24-7 to advise the State Liquor Authority to approve their liquor application.
The approval comes after the board had multiple concerns about the proposed establishment, including the amount of people it could bring to the neighborhood.
The three business partners, Justin Carter, Eamon Harkin and Mark Connell, said when presenting their plan to the board earlier this year that the venue could fit up to 999 people, but the only time they may get close to that number is on Sundays, when they would host a weekly special event with DJs and dancing inside the building.
When the item came up to the board once again last week, they voted in favor of their application.
Gary Giordano, CB5 District Manager, said that the board ultimately approved the application because of their pledge to have the party only on Sundays between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. and because they have to reapply for their license every year due to it being a seasonal license.
“That kind of assurance combined with the seasonal application got the board to back their license,” he said.
Regarding the seasonal license, Giordano said the annual renewal allows them to have a voice in the matter should there be problems at the restaurant/bar, because they can express concerns to the SLA and maybe recommend that it not be renewed if there are problems.
“This would give them a lot of incentive to be good neighbors,” Giordano said.
The group has thus far refused to talk to the media about their planned restaurant and did so again when reached by a reporter earlier this week. Connell said they wanted to retain an “anonymity with the press” while plans for the establishment are still ongoing. He said they would be ready to discuss the restaurant in the near future. Carter and Harkin did not return phone calls seeking comment for this story.
When presenting their plan to CB5 in October, Carter gave out a hand out that introduced them to the community as well as provided information about what they are looking to do at that space.
“The space will be a gathering place for friends and families looking to escape their apartments in the warmer months; and it will be an oasis for the local residents and workers in Ridgewood,” they wrote in the packet.
While the proposed capacity for the establishment is 999 people, they said in the hand out that they expect attendance to be around 100 on weekdays and around 300 on the weekends.
They also run a similar business in Brooklyn and the packet included a testimony from Brooklyn Community Board 7, which said they are a good neighbor in that community.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.