As more and more Ridgewood residents speak out against the neighborhood’s pending pop-up urban beach beer garden, La Playa NYC, the company’s co-owner sought to quell their concerns.
Marcus Burnett, of Long Island City-based Rockaway Brewing Company, attended the June 8 Community Board 5 (CB 5) monthly meeting at Christ the King High School in Middle Village to address the growing issues surrounding La Playa NYC.
Along with questions about noise, traffic and litter, residents raised concerns over the possibility of inebriated patrons causing trouble.
“Some of the neighbors expressed concerns to the board that there could be noise afterwards,” said CB 5 member Robert Holden.“[Concerns over] people leaving, people urinating outside, getting rowdy at all hours, especially on the weekends when it goes beyond midnight.”
Burnett assured CB 5 that they will have professional staff on hand serving beers, who know when to cut off customers who may have had too much to drink.
“It is our job and our responsibility to make sure that people who enjoy our product do not overindulge themselves in drinking beer,” he said.
But Jon Armstrong, a Ridgewood resident who gathered 25 signatures for a petition against La Playa NYC, does not think the Woodward Avenue lot is the right spot for a beer garden.
“I don’t want the music at all, as we’ve said,” Armstrong said. “I do wish you good luck with your business. I love New York businesses, small businesses, more power to you. It’s maybe even a good idea, it may not be for our neighborhood.”
With residents kicking up sand against the beer garden, La Playa NYC did gain one supporter among CB 5 members.
Jean Tanler, who also serves as director of Industrial Business Development at the Business Outreach Center Network, feels La Playa NYC would be a boon to the community, as it supports local farmers, helps the growing New York craft beer scene and brings tourist dollars into the community.
“The location is immediately adjacent to the Maspeth Industrial Business Zone,” Tanler said. “I would be happy to see an establishment like this in the neighborhood. And Marcus and Ethan [Long] are reasonable people, and if some issue were to arise, they have indicated that they are more than willing to meet with the community and work any issues out.”
The final decision on whether La Playa NYC will open at 176 Woodward Ave. will be made by the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA).
“To be clear,” Burnett said, “the actual site is appropriately licensed. The zoning is proper, and the State Liquor Authority considers the location to be a proper location to do such a thing.”
Although the site is properly zoned and licensed for a beer garden, the SLA must also approve the location as one of Rockaway Brewing Company’s five remote locations where they can sell their beer as an extension of their brewery license during their meeting to be held later this month.