Gravesend Bar Denied Liquor License Amidst Community Complaints

816 Avenue U (Source: Robert Fieseler/The Brooklyn Ink)

Following a barrage of complaints from the community, the State Liquor Authority voted yesterday to deny the owners of a would-be bar and lounge in Gravesend permits to sell booze if they cannot rally support from neighbors in the next 30 days.

The owners seek to reopen Pleasure Island, a former bar at 816 Avenue U that racked up many complaints from neighbors. Though they said earlier this year that they planned to reestablish it as an upscale restaurant and lounge, rather than the rowdy club that angered Orthodox residents living around the establishment, locals express doubt, especially since one of the previous owners would be a partner in the new business.

Community Board 15 voted to recommend denying the liquor license for the re-vamped establishment in May, saying its history speaks for itself.

“There were fights, drunken lewdness, double and triple parking, noise till all hours of the morning,” Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo said back in May, adding that there were also “violations issued by the local precinct for sale of alcohol to minors, disorderly conduct and so much more.”

The Community Board has received more than 300 calls in opposition to the business’ reopening, which they forwarded to the State Liquor Authority.

Pleasure Island has also been a pain for local politicians, including State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, who called the establishment a “plague on the community” during testimony to the Liquor Authority on Wednesday.

“I believe that it is important to consider the compliance history of Pleasure Island, Inc.’s owners. Receiving a liquor license is a privilege and along with it comes responsibilities. Given the past record of the owners, I have no confidence that they will fulfill their obligation to comply with our State’s alcoholic beverage regulations,” Cymbrowitz stated in his testimony.

The assemblyman noted, however, that the fight is not yet over. Pleasure Island’s owners could potentially obtain enough support from would-be club-goers to get approval, if they submit supporting documents within the next 30 days. That’s why Cymbrowitz is asking opponents to keep heaping on the pressure.

“The Liquor Authority’s interim decision is a big step in the right direction. Now, all of us in the community must continue the pressure, letting the Commissioners know that we definitely do not want this establishment in our community,” Cymbrowitz said in a statement. “Community residents should contact the Liquor Authority to thank them and reiterate that Pleasure Island will be anything but a pleasure for the community.”


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