It’s a real watering hole!
The state has granted a controversial floating East River bar a full liquor license, defying the wishes of the local community board, which voted against the new outdoor venue last month. The bar’s skippers, who were prepared to open their waterfront tavern with nothing but soda and Shirley Temples, say they are ecstatic that they can now toast the launch with Champagne instead.
“It is a big win,” said Will Drawbridge, the co-owner of Brooklyn Barge Bar, which will open later this month on the Greenpoint waterfront, just south of Transmitter Park.
Community Board 1 voted against the buoyant booze joint in May, because members said they fear the park-side venue will attract rowdy customers and disrupt the neighborhood. And one neighbor says the State Liquor Authority’s ruling has not changed his view that Greenpoint has enough bars already.
“These bars are taking over every part of the neighborhood,” said Chris York, who lives on Greenpoint Avenue. “We really do not need one next to the park.”
Community boards do not have any real power over the liquor licensing process, but they are able to submit recommendations to the state either in favor or against a license being granted, as well as any conditions — such as noise restrictions or closing times — they have negotiated with a bar’s owner. A “no” from the community board also means the liquor authority must host a hearing on an application before making its decision.
The state reviewed Barge Bar’s application on Tuesday, and sent its captains a notice on Thursday stipulating that the coastal cantina can be open from 11 am to 2 am daily, with last call at 1 am, Drawbridge said.
The bar’s owners say the venue will be more than a place to drink hooch — it will also serve grilled food and desserts, and will host kayaking, fishing, and a youth sailing program.
Drawbridge said he doesn’t hold any hard feelings against the community board members for voting against his bar.
“They are just doing what they think is best for the community,” he said.