Feb. 19, 2016 By Michael Florio
A Roosevelt Avenue Chinese restaurant has made progress in its application for a liquor license, despite some community resistance and a State regulation.
Chao Hong, a Chinese restaurant at 78-13 Roosevelt Ave., brought its application before Community Board 3 last night.
The family-run establishment, which opened in December, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., seven days a week. The 1,200-square-foot restaurant can seat 32 people and is currently operating without a liquor license.
CB 3’s Business/Economic Development committee, which fields liquor license applications, recommended that the Board deny this application on account of the State Liquor Authority’s 500 foot rule.
This rule prohibits an abundance of certain types of establishments from serving liquor within 500 feet of one another. Applicants subject to the 500 foot rule must have a special hearing with the SLA to determine whether the public would be served by issuing the license.
Arguing against the application, Committee co-chair Edmund Rosenbaum said, “[This applicant] is in an area where six establishments are already licensed to serve wine, beer and spirits.”
However, several Board members responded in support of the application.
“If we make this an absolute rule it puts a burden on new businesses such as this and owners looking to sell in populated areas,” one said. “Unless there are any violations or problems with the restaurant we should not hobble their business.”
Rosenbaum pressed back, “six licenses is an extraordinary large amount of licenses and the licensees on the block do have issues.”
“We should not hold other establishment’s behaviors against this restaurant,” the Board member responded.
Another member, who questioned the Committee’s decision, stated that the restaurant is not looking to operate as a bar or stay open until 4 a.m.
The Community Board then voted against the Committee’s recommendation, with 16 members voting in support of the restaurant’s application and 10 against it.
The Board will now send a letter to the SLA stating that the Committee’s motion of disapproval did not pass, which is in the applicant’s favor.
“The SLA would look to the resolution of the full Community Board,” a spokesman with the SLA said.