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New owners may be preparing to take over, but neighbors of a noisy Hunters Point bar were not in a charitable mood last week as they urged Community Board 2 to side against the renewal of Lounge 47’s liquor license.
The restaurant and bar, at 47−01 Vernon Blvd., opened in 2003. It earned good reviews from local blogs, which praised the bamboo and pebble perimeter, but neighbors have lamented the backyard use, complaining noise levels are destroying their quality of life.
Neighbor Pauline Rode, who has lived in her home for 56 years, said her kitchen abuts the bar’s backyard.
“It has been hell,” she said. “I can’t cook because I’ve got to hear their problems and their noise. ... They told me if I don’t like it, move.”
Sam Vargas, a staffer for state Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D−Ridgewood), said she shared residents’ concerns and that Vernon Boulevard “is becoming a party strip which the neighbors cannot tolerate.”
The residents all called for the revocation of the bar’s use of the backyard, a sore spot dating back to when the bar’s current owners applied for the license six years ago.
But CB 2 Chairman Joseph Conley said the board has no binding ability to restrict where on the premises alcohol can be served, noting the backyard area is legal and police have ventured into the establishment to test noise levels and found nothing illegal.
“They could open a pizza parlor and serve soda, and they could still use the backyard,” he said.
The comments brought up discussions of the board’s struggles with the bar Blend, two doors down from Lounge 47, during the license application process in 2006. Some members questioned the dedication of CB 2 in fighting the liquor licenses.
“The City Services Committee works very diligently on every application,” Conley shot back.
What comes next depends on how the bar’s new owners, who Conley said are in contract to purchase the property, react to news about the complaints involving the bar, including pledges the bar’s owners put in writing to keep the noise down.
Because that document was not initially disclosed, Conley said, the potential buyers have grounds to sue.
The owners were expected to return before CB 2’s City Services Committee Wednesday night to present a revised plan after being asked for commitments to placate neighbors, including a soundproofing plan.
CB 2 will not meet again until September.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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