BY LUIS GRONDA
The owners of the Knockdown Center in Maspeth still want to sell alcohol during events at their facility.
The co-owners of a controversial art and music center, asked members of Community Board 5 and Maspeth residents, for their support in obtaining a liquor license, ahead of their June 2 hearing with the State Liquor Authority.
The Center’s license application was rejected by the SLA last year after strong community opposition. Residents cited security concerns as the main reason for their opposition. In particular, they fear it would bring large amounts of intoxicated people to the neighborhood. The Knockdown Center has a capacity of 3,100 people.
Tyler Myers, one of the Center’s co-directors, said in the year since the denial, they have been able to host events at the center and gotten much more positive feedback from the community. He said the center brings the best of the City’s cultural producers to Maspeth, including an art exhibition curated by the founder of MoMA PS1.
“These facts are testimony of what the building has to offer, to the quality of event we know to be possible in this building. It is not dark, seedy or unsafe,” Myers said.
A pamphlet handed out by the Knockdown Center’s representatives came attached with two letters of support for their liquor license bid, Capt. Mark Wachter, the current commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, and his predecessor, Capt. Christopher Manson.
“I have met with David Skylar and Tyler Myers and discussed the best practices for nightlife establishments and I expect them to continue to operate in a manner consistent with these best practices,” Wachter wrote in the letter.
The handout also included a letter signed by three local civic leaders, Bob Holden, Roe Daraio and Christina Wilkinson, which asked the license to include several stipulations should the SLA approve their license. The stipulations include notifying the community board, the 104th Precinct and residents who live near the center about upcoming events at the Center and providing security for all events open to the public at the facility.
CB 5 Chairman Vinny Arcuri said the matter would be referred to the board’s Land Use Committee for a review and report back to the executive committee. They will then decide whether to support the renewed liquor license bid or oppose it once again.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.