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CB 5 splits again over liquor license for event at Maspeth arts venue

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/File photo

Concerns over liquor license applications for events at Maspeth’s Knockdown Center continue to rise up for Community Board 5 (CB 5).

The Knockdown Center, located at 52-19 Flushing Ave., has been tapped by a catering company to host an architectural symposium where alcohol will be served. The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, Sept. 18, and will host a dinner for 250 guests from 8 to 10 p.m. and an after party for 1,000 people from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. the following morning.

The art venue was recently granted a liquor license from the State Liquor Authority (SLA), pending the Knockdown Center getting a valid certificate of occupancy (C of O). The Knockdown Center still has not received its valid C of O, so its liquor license is currently not in effect.

Because the Knockdown Center does not have its liquor license, the caterers — The Cleaver Company — wish to use their liquor license to allow alcohol to be sold at the one-day event.

“Caterers have a floating license because they do these types of events,” said CB 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri. “Because of the prior controversy and current situation with them not having a valid C of O, [The Cleaver Company] needed to get a letter of no objection from the community board.”

The architectural symposium would not be part of the limited number of events the Knockdown Center is allowed to hold outlined in the liquor license stipulations set forth by the SLA.

CB 5 members landed on both sides of the fence on whether to approve this request.

Several members thought that it may be a good idea to vote in favor of the temporary permit, arguing that this offered the Knockdown Center an opportunity to prove itself to the board.

Others, however, did not want to risk allowing this event to be held without the Knockdown Center having a valid C of O, and permitting an event to take place that would not count toward the agreed upon number of events with the SLA.

In the end, CB 5 voted against The Cleaver Company’s application, 24-15, with two abstaining votes. Even so, the SLA makes the final decision whether or not to approve the permit.

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