Cheap Shots faces loss of liquor license

Photo by Karen Frantz
By Alex Robinson

A bar whose neighbors have complained for years that its patrons have wreaked havoc on Kew Gardens Hills residents came one step closer to losing its liquor license Monday night.

Community Board 8’s Liquor Licensing Committee voted unanimously against supporting the renewal of Cheap Shots’ license.

Residents said the bar’s unruly clientele has been causing problems for the community since it opened, at 149-05 Union Turnpike in 2010.

“Most nights are filled with screaming, street brawling, cursing, the most vile language imaginable, extremely violent behavior, vomiting and public urination on the streets. It’s been horrific,” said Monica Weiss, a Kew Gardens Hills resident who has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.

The drunken debauchery that residents said spills into the neighborhood in the early hours has gradually been escalating throughout the years. More than 200 neighbors signed a petition that Weiss recently submitted to the state Liquor Authority to express the community’s frustration.

“It’s not just one individual that has had issues at this point. The whole community is up in arms and does not want to have the bar in the community anymore,” said Marie Adam-Ovide, CB 8 district manager.

Residents said the trouble they have experienced from Cheap Shots’ drinkers culminated in a shooting outside the bar in September 2012.

Civic organizations, the 107th Precinct community council and City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) all sent letters to the community board opposing the renewal of the bar’s liquor license.

“Cheap Shots’ irresponsible supervision of its patrons has resulted in a sustained and continuing pattern of noise, disturbances, misconduct and disorder, all of which adversely affect the safety of the surrounding neighborhood,” said Lancman. “The community board is right to ask the state Liquor Authority not to renew Cheap Shots’ license.”

In his letter, Lancman said the 107th Precinct had made four arrests in the bar — for robbery, gambling and underage alcohol consumption — in the past year alone.

A representative for Cheap Shots said the bar has worked closely with the 107th Precinct and has gone to great lengths to try to accommodate the community, including hiring additional security staff to address noise issues outside.

“We’ve gone above and beyond the means of what we can do. We try to comply with everything,” the representative said.

The bar’s liquor license is due to expire Feb. 28. The bar’s representative said Cheap Shots’ owner would still be applying to renew the bar’s license regardless of the community board’s decision.

CB 8’s vote was purely advisory and it will now send a letter to the Liquor Authority to express its position on the issue.

The bar’s future will rest in the hands of the Liquor Authority, which will have the final say as to whether its license will be renewed.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

More from Around New York