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If Racks, a new restaurant and bar, wants to open up, waitresses will likely have to cover up.

Community Board 1 (CB 1) voted not to recommend a liquor license for Racks on grounds its female servers will be wearing bikinis as uniforms.

At the April 16 meeting, board members voted 17 to 15 against the recommendation, even though the Community Board’s Consumer Affairs Committee supported the restaurant’s bid.

In a letter written to CB 1, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas urged the body to vote against the license because the bar is close to residences and a school playground.

“Our children do not need to learn what a ‘bikini bar’ is on their way to little league,” Simotas wrote.
Community members and local elected officials voiced their opposition along with the assemblymember.

During the board meeting, Racks’ lawyer Kerry Katsorhis said the bar, at 19-26 Steinway Street, is on an almost completely commercial block. She argued that children will not have to pass by Racks to reach the playground.

“Though personally, I feel morally that this kind of entertainment is demeaning to women, this is not the forum for a lifestyle discussion. This is the forum for a small-business discussion,” said board member Frances Luhmann-McDonald, who voted in favor of the recommending the liquor license.

Although CB 1 did not give its recommendation, the State Liquor Authority will ultimately decide whether to grant the license or not.

 

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