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Photo courtesy Knockdown Center
Photo courtesy Knockdown Center
The Knockdown Center is looking to serve more people, stay open later, and open another bar in the venue.

When the Knockdown Center in Maspeth first received its liquor license from the State Liquor Authority (SLA) in 2015, the permit came with a slew of caveats, including a limitation the hours of operation and the number of people it could entertain.

Now, the arts and performance venue located at 52-19 Flushing Ave. is looking to gain an alteration to their license that would increase their hours of operation, the amount of people able to attend, and the addition of a third bar area, as they submitted an “Alteration of an On-Premise Liquor License Application” to the SLA.

Tyler Myers, co-director at the Knockdown Center, presented the application to Community Board 5 (CB 5) during the board’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 12, in Middle Village.

“The first thing is hours. We want to be able to go a little bit later,” Myers told the board. “Essentially we want to regularly operate until 4 a.m. on Saturdays, go two hours later on Thursdays, but also have the ability to operate until 4 [a.m.] on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday if we have a special event that needs to do that.”

Currently the Knockdown Center can only operate until midnight on Sunday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“The second thing is, right now we are limited in operational capacity by our liquor license to 1,800 [people],” Myers added. “We want to strike that stipulation so that our Certificate of Occupancy can be the defining document on our capacity, which would be 3,100.”

The Knockdown Center is permitted to serve alcohol to gatherings of between 1,000 and 1,800 people at up to 12 events annually.

Vincent Arcuri, chairperson of CB 5, said that the board’s Executive Committee discussed the Knockdown Center’s request for a liquor license change and recommends that the venue be able to hold up to 1,800 people for up to 15 events per year, but no more than 1,000 patrons on any other date in a calendar year. The committee was agreeable with extending the center’s hours of operations to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; it did not have any objections to a third bar at the facility.

Board members who reside in Maspeth praised the Knockdown Center as good neighbors, commenting that their operations have been rather smooth — a stark contrast to the concerns raised the first time the center sought a liquor license.

“We are happy to see that with each presentation, board members embrace us more and more,” Myers told QNS in an email on Thursday. “While we hear the concerns raised regarding occupancy and our hours, and understand that our scale can be somewhat intimidating, it was encouraging to hear numerous testimonies and support for our ability to host large-scale events that were safe and orderly over the past year. It was clear to us, given the public comments of many board members, that the value of Knockdown Center is being recognized for its contributions to the cultural vibrancy of the Maspeth community, the borough of Queens, and the city of New York.”

The full board voted 34-4 in favor of the Executive Committee’s recommendation with the stated stipulations. The SLA has the final decision on the venue’s application.

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