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No quiero! Civic gurus reject booze-serving Taco Bell in Brooklyn Heights • Brooklyn Paper

No quiero! Civic gurus reject booze-serving Taco Bell in Brooklyn Heights

Bell no: Community Board 2 rejected an application to open a new Taco Bell at 58 Court St. because of the eatery reps’s lack of community engagement and resident opposition to its late opening hours and serving booze.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

Call it a burrit-no!

Civic leaders shot down the request for a liquor license that honchos of fast Tex-Mex chain Taco Bell want in order to pour booze inside a new Brooklyn Heights location, claiming the burrito bigwigs refused to negotiate when the locals expressed concern about the outposts’ late hours and alcoholic offerings.

Members of Community Board 2’s Executive Committee on Feb. 25 panned the taco titans’ application to serve adult beverages at the location they plan to open at the bottom of a Court Street building between Joralemon and Livingston streets, because Taco Bell reps refused to reconsider its operating hours at a previous meeting of the board’s Health, Environment, and Social Services Committee, according to the panel’s district manager.

“They wanted to stay open to 2 am or so, and the committee wasn’t comfortable with that and when they were trying to negotiate with the reps at the committee meeting the representatives said they’re not authorized to negotiate,” said Robert Perris.

The fact that the reps flat out refused to negotiate with the board suggests that the chalupa chiefs never intended to sincerely engage with the community they hope to open the eatery in, Perris said.

“How do you go to a review session without having negotiation powers,” he said. “Potentially, it’s an act of arrogance to say we’re not able to negotiate, and we are not going to negotiate.”

Executive Committee members also took issue with the request to serve liquor, which many folks who live in the Court Street building objected to, according to local Tom Predhome, who attended the meeting on behalf of the more than 30 residents opposed to allowing booze on site.

The building is already home to pub O’Keefe’s Bar and Grill, which also serves food and booze until 2 am. But that establishment opened decades ago, and the board has not received any complaints about it, according to Perris.

The board’s vote is only advisory, however, and officials with the State Liquor Authority will have the final say on whether the eatery can serve booze with its burritos.

Reps for Taco Bell did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

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