2011-10-05 / Features

Bd. 1 Rejects Amnesia/Club Tahona Liquor License


According to the New York state Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (ABC), an applicant for a liquor license for an establishment must notify the relevant community board before the State Liquor Authority receives the application. Amnesia Sports Bar and Club Tahona, at 35-35 Steinway St., presented its application to Community Board 1 at the board’s September meeting, but the application was recommended for disapproval after 114th Police Precinct Community Affairs Officer Ed Negron told Board 1 of the club’s violations record.

“[Amnesia Sports Bar/Club Tahona] is one of the most problematic premises in the 114th Precinct,” Negron declared at the Board 1 September meeting at the Astoria World Manor. Negron cited six arrests going back to January 2010 at the location, among them one for assault and four for the sale of liquor to minors. In addition, Negron said, there were 17 reports of violence, including seven assaults in the second and third degrees, and the issuance of 14 quality of life offenses (“C” summonses).

“This is an issue that the 114th Precinct wants to bring to your attention because we want Astoria to be a safe place,” Negron said. Board 1 Consumer Affairs Committee Chair Joe Risi said Board 1 District Manager Lucille Hartmann had “tried very hard to notify the applicants to meet with us before the board met but was unable to”. Board 1 unanimously voted to send a letter of disapproval of Amnesia Sports Bar/Club Tahona’s license application to the State Liquor Authority.

The ABC law requires any application for an on-premises liquor license to notify their community board 30 days before filing an application with the SLA. The community board may then submit an opinion either in favor of or against granting the license, and that opinion becomes part of the record used by the SLA in deciding whether to approve or disapprove the application.

The SLA can order an Emergency Summary Suspension when it believes health, welfare and safety are jeopardized by the continued operation of a licensee. Negron said the SLA did issue such a suspension of Amnesia/Club Tahona for five days in June. The SLA does not have the power to “padlock” or close down an establishment. Its jurisdiction is limited to the licensee’s ability to serve alcohol.

Negron also reported that the 114th Precinct provided coverage for 125 community events over the summer, “an all-time high”, he noted. Manpower to police these events exceeded 540 police officers and 55 sergeants. “Community events help to make Astoria successful,” Negron noted. However, he reminded the board, no new events requiring police coverage are permitted.

In other business, an application to extend the time to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy and to extend the term of variance for an additional 10 years was approved for the Getty gas station located at 30-14 34th Ave. Also, an application to extend the term of a previously granted zoning variance permitting Use Group 16, a custom woodworking shop, on the premises and to amend the current Board of Standards and Appeals’ approved plans to change the use to Use Group 16, a contractor’s establishment, and to permit a proposed expansion of two existing mezzanines into a full floor at 33-56 11th St. was approved.

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