A local panel shot down a controversial Avenue U businessman’s watered-down proposal to serve beer and wine at his new Sheepshead Bay restaurant Galaxy, claiming that rowdy boozefests would still break out even if patrons couldn’t get their hands on hard liquor a decision that left the restaurateur so mad, he was seeing stars.
“It’s stupid!” Galaxy owner Mark Shteynshlyuger screamed as he slammed Community Board 15’s unanimous April 24 decision to deny his beer and wine application for Galaxy, which opened last month between E. Eighth and E. Ninth streets, the same spot where his vilified Pleasure nightclub once stood. “They’re basing their opinion on what happened six years ago.”
Shteynshlyuger promised that he wouldn’t sell firewater and close Galaxy at 2:30 am on weekends — instead of keeping the place open until 4 am — but board members said that Galaxy would be just as disruptive as Pleasure was.
Residents agreed, claiming that if Galaxy sells booze of any kind, it will draw the same rowdy clientele.
“They’re trying to pull a fast one on us,” said Gravesend resident Morris Harary. “There’s more emphasis on drinking than on the restaurant.”
Shteynshlyuger opened Pleasure in 2006, and closed it two years later after neighbors complained of underage drinking, noise and bar brawls that spilled out onto the street.
He tried to reopen his embattled club under the name Pleasure Island in December, 2010, but his dreams of reopening died when CB15 petitioned the State Liquor Authority to deny his application for a new license.
The Board’s recommendation is only advisory, but the state took the request to heart and rejected Shteynshlyuger’s application last November.
Shteynshlyuger came back to CB15 with his beer and wine idea for Galaxy, which he says is a restaurant, not a club, but that was shot down faster than his previous liquor licence requests were.
George Karp, Shteynshlyuger’s attorney, said he would submit Galaxy’s wine and beer application to the state anyway.
State Liquor Authority spokesman William Crowley said last year’s liquor license denial was influenced by Shteynshlyuger’s inability to bring CB15 on board — and the letters of opposition the state received from residents and elected officials.
Ilya Novofastovsky, a spokesman for Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay), a staunch critic of Shteynshlyuger’s club, applauded the board’s newest rejection.
“Gilligan’s Island, Galaxy — the name doesn’t change the owner or the restaurant’s history.”