Community Board Supports Six Liquor Licenses for Pier A—On a Trial Basis

Rendering of "The Long Hall," to be located on the first level of Pier A, with a capacity of as many as 600 people.

Mar. 26, 2014

Community Board 1 voted on March 25 to support liquor licenses for all six bars in the mega dining-and-drinking complex that will open in June on Pier A, just north of Battery Park. But the board, wary of so many bars in one location serving alcohol until 4 a.m., is giving the operators six months to prove themselves.

The decision over whether to support 4 a.m. closing hours for the establishments, to be located on three-levels in the 32,000-square-foot landmark, sparked debate.

Board member Marc Ameruso called it “unprecedented” to approve a 4 a.m. license “to what might be the largest restaurant in New York City.”

“It is just too big a venue to at least start off this way with 4 a.m.,” Ameruso said. “The size of the venue indicates that there will be black cars and taxis lined up all the way to Battery Park City.”

“A bunch of us don’t like the 4 a.m. and will vote against it just because of that,” board member Joe Lerner added.

In response, Anthony Notaro, chair of CB1's Battery Park City Committee,  defended his committee’s unanimous support for the license, which it voted earlier in the month.

“This operator has several licenses in Lower Manhattan for 4 a.m.,” he said. “We are very confident that he is going to work with us, so we voted based on that.”

The Poulakakos family, operator and lease holder of the pier, own 10 other establishments in Lower Manhattan alone.

Notaro had also noted earlier in the month that the once crumbling, 126-year-old pier shed is being rehabilitated, thanks to its new commercial uses.

“That place has been derelict for 30 years, so it’s amazing that it will come back to life,” Notaro said at the committee meeting.

While some board members suggested that the Pier A bars first be issued 2 a.m. licenses—and rewarded with 4 a.m. licenses if there are no problems—most agreed that offering a six-month 4 a.m. trial period would be a better “test” for the establishment. The resolution passed, 28-5.