There is unrest in the forest There is trouble with the trees For the maples want more sunlight And the oaks ignore their pleas

No Taxation Without Representation!

There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas

Last week, the LICpost wrote two solid articles about the inability of local restaurant owners to access their backyards. Basically, there has been one long time member of Community Board 2, who due to his not wanting outdoor seating adjacent to his own back windows, has used his position on the board to block any restaurants in Hunters Point from doing so.  This is a long term battle he has waged, and you can read about the start of it back in 2003 right here.

Fast forward to 2014, and were I, The Editor, to have the power to dispense with some personal and local annoyances simply by decree, I cannot say that I wouldn’t.  Unfortunately, I’m just a lowly copy boy with a local blog.  So here is the problem as I see it: In order to maintain the status quo with the new, and better financed, and more muscular (he owns a total of four bars throughout the 5 boros) tavern owner next door, I have to set a precedent and deny that right to every new guy that wants a liquor license.  Otherwise, the barkeep in my backyard is going to say “Wait a minute, you let…”

Two restaurants were cited in the stories as having had their requests denied by Community Board 2.  The first, L’Inizio, is across the street from Woodbines, the above referenced bar.  The restaurant will be a pizza place created by someone who has lived in LIC for over 40 years.  The second is 51st Bakery & Cafe.  Owned by a couple who live a few doors down from their business, they have lived in Long Island City for 18 years.  I broke the story on the store’s opening, and in corresponding with the owners, I would inevitably get emails back in the middle of the night.  They were very nice, but harried -exactly what you would expect from someone going through the grueling endeavor of opening a restaurant as a two-some.

That is because these little, local, very personal businesses have to run the same gauntlet that much larger, better-financed ones do.  So the last thing they need is another time-consuming and costly hurdle.  If we want to have these types of restaurants in our neighborhood, then the elected leaders, and the un-elected surrogates they appoint, need to recognize and differentiate amongst the choices, and take all their citizens into account.  Not use precedent as a cudgel for a select few.

Wanna help?  A resident has formed a petition asking Community Board 2 to ease up on liquor license and outdoor space restriction.  Sign it here.

Queens Kickshaw Talks About Local Restaurant Industry’s Fate“The cost of business in New York City is really difficult — it’s hard for small business to compete on a level playing field. So I see the direction going a little more corporate.”

The Beer Closet is Coming to LIC – !?!  right next to 51st Bakery & Cafe in fact.  Beer, cheese, sounds like trouble!


  1. Pooh says:

    What does the Community Board think, these two restaurants are going to be like Carlos n Charlie’s?

  2. Bizness As Usual says:

    I fail to see how some group meeting in a room in Sunnyside determines whether a small business owner can use his backyard on Vernon Boulevard.

  3. Rodney says:

    Can we all get a beer outside …in Hunters Point?

  4. LIC Resident2 says:

    William Garret and Pat O’Brien don’t truly care about the local businesses, or LIC for that matter. They have their axe to grind and it doesn’t matter who it hurts. And they don’t care if they have to lie or cheat to get it done. They are high on power and there are no term limits for CB2, a body that is not elected. There is no listening to reason with them. Pat O’Brien is supposed to be impartial when running meetings but he is not in the least.

  5. GiorgioLIC says:

    I had the misfortune of sitting next to Mr. Blaze and members of his Inizio staff last night at an LIC restaurant. (I knew they were from Inizio because they were wearing t-shirts with the Inizio logo.) They were extremely drunk, extremely loud, and extremely obnoxious. The kind if people you dread being seated next to. When people at a nearby table asked them — more than once — to keep it down a bit, they got nasty attitude in response to their reasonable request. The restaurant staff was disgusted, too, and several of them apologized to us when the Inizio bunch finally left. If this is how they behave in a restaurant, I can imagine what kind of neighbors they’ll make. I was so disgusted by their boorishness I decided not to set foot in Inizio.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: