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Boro pols slam sign in Fresh Meadows

A Fresh Meadows bar’s awning that depicts the silhouette of a prone woman who appears to be unconscious is unacceptable and should be removed, said elected officials from northeast Queens who are livid over the image at Cheap Shots.

City Councilmen James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) and Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) as well as state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) wrote a letter May 5 to Louis Abreu, owner of Cheap Shots Sports Bar & Lounge at 149-05 Union Tnpk., asking him to remove the awning.

“We believe that the image on your awning, which depicts the silhouette of a young woman lying on her back in a very suggestive position, is lewd, utterly repulsive to the families that live in this community, and unforgivably degrading to women,” according to the letter authored by Gennaro and co-signed by Weprin and Lancman.

After Weprin wrote a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the end of April expressing his outrage over the image, the city Department of Buildings cited Abreu for installing an awning that is too large for his building. The officials said they hope the owner will rectify the situation by putting up a different awning.

Abreu was unavailable for comment.

“It offended me in too many ways to enumerate,” Weprin said of the awning. “I stared at it almost dumbfounded when I first saw it. It looks like the woman is passed out. What kind of message are we sending to the patrons of this place? It’s like calling all date-rapers or something.”

The establishment, which bills itself as the “home of the $2 shot,” applied for its liquor license in January, according to city records.

“The last thing we want to see is the degradation of young people, but for this owner that is his marketing strategy,” Gennaro said.

The legislators said the awning was especially alarming because the bar is in a residential area in close proximity to St. John’s University and Queens College.

“As public officials, we know all too well the tragedies that have befallen young people, particularly young women, whose good sense becomes compromised by willful, unwitting or even coerced intoxication,” the letter to Abreu read. “That you as a business owner would use a depiction of every parent’s worst nightmare to market your establishment is unconscionable and reprehensible.”

Lancman also said he was shocked by the awning.

“The image on the awning appears to encourage ugly, violent, criminal activity,” Lancman said. “I find the picture completely inappropriate and unacceptable.”

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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