“Proposers who wish to sell alcoholic beverages should note that these items may only be served during
sit-down service and must be consumed on the licensed premises.”
– From the RFP for the Dyckman Marina Concession
The License Agreement, and the RFP before it, makes very clear that any alcohol served at the premises is to be of the kind seen at any high-end restaurant or cocktail lounge — a full bar to be sure, but a seated one. The exact wording is:
If Licensee wishes to sell alcoholic beverages at the Licensed Premises, Licensee shall, prior thereto, obtain at its sole expense all permits and licenses applicable to the sale of alcholic beverages from the State Liquor Authority… Alcoholic beverages may only be served during sit-down service and must be consumed on the Licensed Premises.
And yet, when the time came to apply for a liquor license from the SLA, the concession operators applied for and were granted a license that included three standing bars. As of 2014 the largest of these bars runs the length of the beach, has a large overhead structure and has mesh blocking the view from the adjacent public walkway. None of this appeared on the approved site plan. How is that legal?
As noted separately, there were also prohibitions against concerts and amplified music and concerns regarding the stated capacity but the SLA application was changed at the last minute to a Cabaret license with a capacity of 1,173! The Community Board was not notified of the change to the Cabaret license, but the license was granted regardless.
Parks later objected over the capacity increase, supposedly reducing it to 500 seats, only to see the concession later open with a claimed capacity of 3,000. It is not clear how a liquor license can have one capacity, but the site a capacity of two or three times as many. Does that invalidate the liqour license, or is the information about capacity on the application not binding? The SLA has not clarified this point.
The liquor license was renewed by the SLA in 2014 despite substantial opposition from residents.
It may not be the state liquor authority’s role to read the lease restrictions of any given applicant, but how can Parks allow a concession contract to say one thing and a liquor license another, especially when the change is fundamental to creating a use that is prohibited?
The concession should be restored to its original uses and capacities and the standing bars removed, and the liquor license updated to match.