State Liquor Authority, Manhattan bar face legal fight over plans to open Lower East Side business

·2 min read

Last call for a Lower East Side bar will come before its first drink is served if local residents have their way.

A 12-page Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Friday by the Eldridge Street Block Association argued the Manhattan neighborhood is already teeming with bars, clubs and restaurants and seeks to block the planned opening of the nascent business named Moneygoround.

“This neighborhood has more than enough places to eat and drink,” read the court filing. “This block cannot tolerate another drinking establishment ... Permitting another one to open would have a dramatic effect on the block.”

The court documents included affidavits from a half-dozen local residents dead set against the opening of another bar on Eldridge St., with the court filing calling for authorities to rescind the business’ liquor license.

“My wife and I deserve better for our health, safety and welfare,” wrote Adrian Abey Gines, a member of the block association. “So awarding another license is is definitely not in ours, or the community’s, best interest.”

The suit alleges the State Liquor Authority, “failed to apply the substantive public interest mandates of the law and denied residents the procedural mandates of a fair public hearing” before granting a license for the spot to open at 235 Eldridge St.

An email sent Saturday for comment from the State Liquor Authority was not immediately returned. But Moneygoround managing partner Maria Devitt disputed the complaint, noting she was a long-term resident of the East Village.

“We have enjoyed enormous enthusiasm and support from the majority of neighbors on the block,” she said. “We hope to continue to serve our community and that the courts will see fit to protect the rights of small businesses, which are the heart and soul of New York City.”

But Meral Bozkurt, who moved to the neighborhood in 1980, said in his affidavit that the area has long suffered due to the area’s ever-expanding nightlife.

“Bars and lounges have had a long history of causing havoc, with documented criminal activity, late-night noise, sleepless nights for residents,” wrote Bozkurt. “General disregard from the quality of life issues on our block ... (It’s) getting worse as more and more licenses (are) granted.”