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The city that supposedly never sleeps apparently wants to get some shuteye at 11 pm.
Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Carroll Gardens) has put forward a bill that would close all rooftop and backyard bars or outdoor seating at an hour before midnight on weekends and at 10 pm on weeknights.
The bill would apply to all bars with outdoor space less than 10 stories high or within 500 feet of residential properties — pretty much all bars in Brownstone Brooklyn.
“Sometimes it’s a great night to sit outdoors — it’s a very summer thing to do, and sometimes you earn it after a long day,” said Millman’s spokesman, Paul Nelson. “But there’s gotta be some balance. [The noise from people outside] is a big problem in a number of communities.”
The bill would allow community boards to extend the so-called “Millman Cutoff” for patios that they deem to be agreeable. But in areas like Brooklyn Heights — Millman’s constituency — community boards are so anti-alcohol and noise that Borough President Markowitz ordered Community Board 2 to be a bit more liberal with its drinking and nightlife policies.
As such, owners and their sweaty summer customers seem nervous about Millman’s proposed crackdown.
“This is ridiculous — we have a right to go outside,” said Jaime Lischke, who frequents the spacious rooftop bar at Berry Park in Williamsburg — a bar that commits to its own rooftop curfew of 11 pm out of respect to its neighbors. “We aren’t children here. This is an infringement on our civil rights!”
Millman’s Assembly opponent, Doug Biviano, blasted the 13-year incumbent.
“Certainly, members of the community have been complaining about this problem for years,” said Biviano, who is fond of the outdoor patio at Pacifico on a residential block just off Smith Street. “But [Millman] hasn’t even publicly called for the enforcement of noise ordinances on the books. … Why is she doing this now?”
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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