Last call at 2 a.m. for new bars in Harlem?

December 14, 2011 7:30:26 AM PST
New bars and restaurants like Bier International on Fredrick Douglas Boulevard are cropping up all over central Harlem.

The concern by some community members is if more new ones will have an impact on the quality of life.

The bar and restaurant scene in central Harlem is alive and well with many new spots and more, owners say, who want to come to this area now enjoying new development along with new businesses.

But Chris Pollok, co-owner at Bier International which opened over year ago is surprised to hear talk by some of wanting to limit new bars and restaurants from serving alcohol past 2 a.m., two hours earlier.

Those already with licenses would not be affected.

"I think it will kill some businesses," Pollok said.

The suggestion reportedly is being studied by Community Board 10 which among other quality of life concerns, reviews applications for liquor licenses.

It handles the 1 and a half square mile area bound by Central Park on the south, the Harlem River on the north, Fordham Cliffs on the west and Fifth Avenue, east.

According to an online report some members are concerned that a bar boom would have an impact on the quality of life.

Several key members of the board were not available to comment, but Chris Pollok believes it would have a strong impact on businesses.

"Some investors might be thinking why not bring back prohibition. It has the kind of feeling to it. Why would I invest in a place where you know people hang out until 4 O'clock which is the law of the state, and they won't anymore," Pollok said.

Others who live in the area and now see many new businesses moving in wonder if it would have an impact others considering a move to the area.

"Now that we have all the services, not just dry cleaners but we have bars and restaurants, that's the appeal of moving here right now, that's why we moved," said Tony Oakley, an area resident.

Others didn't necessarily think bars would adversely affect the area.

"It depends on the atmosphere and the clientele basically," another resident said.

Eyewitness News has learned that Community Board 10 has not made a decision on the matter.

The state liquor authority, which grants licenses says community boards make recommendations and are an important factor in the SLA's decision on whether to grant a license, but it's not binding.

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