CB3 to Discuss Impacts of Liquor License Saturation on the Lower East Side

Posted on: September 7th, 2017 at 9:34 am by

Pianos at peak crowding, June 2015

Next week, Community Board 3 will attempt a discussion on the linkage between alcohol density on the Lower East Side and adverse impacts upon both local public health and safety. The event is billed as a “Special Agenda Item Notice” and falls under the Transportation, Public Safety, and Environment subcommittee

This conversation is especially significant when considering the nightlife zone referred to as “Hell Square,” where embattled residents must contend with the constant ebb and flow of drunken humanity. The situation is nothing new and seemingly worsens with time. There are over 130 active on-premise liquor licenses in the 24-block area bounded by East Houston, Allen, Broome, and Clinton Streets, translating to approximately 11.5 bars per block. This gives the tiny quadrant the distinction of having the highest density of licenses in New York City.

In the recent study by the Hunter College and the LES Dwellers block association, findings showed a direct relationship between density of nightlife in Hell Square, and crime, perceptions of public safety, and quality-of-life issues.

Below is the official announcement passed around to CB3 members:

At its September 2017 meeting, Community Board 3’s Transportation, Public Safety & Environment Committee will be investigating the link between alcohol outlet density (the number of alcohol serving establishments within a limited geographic area) and adverse effects on local public health and public safety.

The Committee’s primary focus will be on if existing data establishes such a link and, in the event such a link exists, if CB3 should take any future actions based upon the data (potentially with the State Liquor Authority, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and/or New York City’s incoming “night Mayor”).

To guide us through the discussion, the committee will hear presentations from Robert Pezzolesi, MPH, the Founding Director of the New York Alcohol Policy Alliance, and Professor Sigmund Shipp, Director of Hunter College’s undergraduate urban student program, along with two Hunter graduate students who recently authored a report on the link between alcohol outlet density and public health/public safety in an area of the Lower East Side that has a particularly high concentration of alcohol serving establishments.

In connection with the presentations, the Committee is interested in hearing from community members’ and organizations’ about their perceptions of any link (or lack thereof) between the number of alcohol serving establishments in your neighborhoods and declining or improving local health and safety conditions. Please join us.

The meeting is Tuesday, September 12, at 6:45pm, Downtown Art (70 East 4th Street).

Recent Stories

‘Zagrat’ Rated ‘Squeakeasies’ Are All the Rage for Area Vermin

New Yorkers aren’t the only unfortunate ones facing gentrification. It’s the dawn of a new era, one in which the venerable rodents no longer set fires to cars or shack up in rotting constructions sites because they have to. Nay, because they want to.  And, naturally, a gentrified pest is in need of the finer […]

What the Inside of the Gutted Cup & Saucer Looks Like Now

Cup & Saucer ended its decades-running tenancy at the northwest corner of Canal and Eldridge Streets back in July. Since then, the restaurant space has been a dormancy, with the only activity the removal of that classic signage and the installation of leasing banners. Now, all of it is gone. Yesterday, however, provided a unique […]

Pajama Pop-Up ‘Gelato Pique’ Coming to Orchard Street

No, it’s not what you think. Not another ice cream shop for Hell Square. To the contrary, this misnomer of a pop-up at 144 Orchard Street is for pajamas. The new outpost – a holiday shop for Gelato Pique – is poised to open here next week (November 28). Teaser posters are hanging in the […]

Essex Crossing’s First Park Comes Into View on Broome Street

Here is an early glimpse of the new park plaza Essex Crossing is bringing to the Lower East Side. Behind the boards at Site 5 – aka 145 Clinton Street – bones of the outdoor infrastructure are now in place. According to the weekly email update from Delancey Street Associates, this “plaza work” includes “staging […]

Essex Street Market Warehouse Gets Demolition Death Shroud Ahead of Phase II Development

More than seventy-seven years after its construction at the behest of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, another Essex Street Market building is on death’s door. The shroud of netting and scaffolding was affixed to the facade of 140 Essex Street (aka Site 8) last week. Another piece of Lower East Side history razed; yet the end is […]