2015-05-27 / Features

CB1 Approves Liquor License Recommendation

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO

Community Board 1 has approved a liquor license recommendation for a controversial Astoria establishment on its third try after the club agreed to prohibit topless adult entertainment.

Twice denied on applications to the board for a State Liquor Authority (SLA) recommendation, 8G Inc., owner of Racks at 19-26 Steinway St. consented to signing a written stipulation this time as a condition for the board’s recommendation to the SLA.

“The (consumer affairs) committee has recommended to send a letter to the SLA with the stipulation that the applicant (Racks) shall at no time whatsoever permit the place to be used for topless/adult entertainment,” said Consumer Affairs Committee Chair Joseph Risi Jr.

Board member John C.V. Katsanos proposed additional language be included in the stipulation stating the owners would also not change the club’s operation in the future but his motion to deny the committee’s recommendation was not approved.

Racks, a restaurant/caterer and cabaret that features bikini dancers caused a stir back in 2012 when it first applied for a liquor license causing local elected officials to hold a rally in protest of it.

“This establishment would have a negative effect on the development of this neighborhood,” said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas in the September 27, 2012 Daily News.

According to the same September 27, 2012 Daily News report, Racks had refused to sign an agreement that the club would not become an adult entertainment venue.

“They’re willing to sign the stipulation,” said board member Gus Prentzas. “There’s another club just around the corner (from Racks) that’s my concern.”

The board also approved a plan supported by the Department of Parks and Recreation to renovate the Van Alsten playground on 21st Street between 29th and 30th Avenue while deferring on another plan to renovate the Astoria Heights playground at 45th Street and 30th Road.

“There’s been a bit of a controversy,” said Parks Committee Chair Richard Khuzami about the proposed $3 million renovation. “We received a letter from the Friends of Astoria Heights Playground asking for a delay of one month.”`

The proposal to eliminate the mini-pool in favor of sprinklers is the problem, said Khuzami.

“Some are against and some are for it,” he said.

In other business, Constantinides and the city’s Economic Development Corporation will hold a community meeting on the proposed ferry dock in Hallet’s Cove on June 4 at the First Reformed Church of Astoria, 27-26 12th Street (between 27th Ave. and Astoria Blvd.) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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