A recently posted permit to build a food and drink establishment on the vacant site at 154-11 Powells Cove Blvd. has put fear into those who live quietly on the surrounding streets., with some ruing the implications of the word "drink."One nearby resident who gave her name as Pat told a protest Saturday that she remembered all too clearly what happened when the Chicken Coop bar opened up on Willets Point Boulevard a few years back."We'd find people passed out drunk on our lawns in the morning," she said. Others worried that a noisy party hall an arm's-length from backyards would decrease property values and increase traffic. But just as relentless badgering and picketing eventually closed down the Chicken Coop and thwarted intentions to open up a topless tavern off the Cross Island Expressway three years ago -- as remembered by Whitestone native John Garginio -- so can a united front do the same in this case, residents say.Garginio, a retired city police officer, called establishments that break noise codes, invite brawls and invade resident privacy "buckets of blood."In a repeat of a rally held March 28, a group gathered in the rain at the site's gates Saturday, ready to support Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in putting a halt to the nightclub idea before it is realized."We'll be here month after month if we have to," said Avella, who expressed particular disappointment with the city Department of Buildings for "allowing something to be built that'll have hundreds of people coming and going."But Commodore Joseph Facchin, a listed owner of the property, said he is being attacked over something that has not and will never happen, since the 15-by-120-foot restaurant will be completely noise-insulated and closed by 9 p.m. "We're not going to make it a hell hole," he said. Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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