Nyack Bar Owners To Meet Village Officials Friday

They're upset over the alcohol ban. The meeting is in front of the village hall at 10:30 a.m. and they've invited all businesses, employees and residents to come


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Despite a ban on alcohol in the Village of Nyack, there are a few bars around town that have refused to fall in line and are serving patrons drinks.

For the safety of Nyack residents, the village put in place an alcohol ban that started Wednesday night and is ongoing until all street and traffic lights have been restored, according to Mayor Jen Laird-White. Restaurants are allowed to serve food until 10 p.m.

On the village website, it reads:

The Mayor and Village Board has ordered that the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages (as defined by Section 3 of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, but not included in patented medicines) is prohibited within the Village until further notice.

This is due to the fact there are no street lights and excessive demands on the police force to handle priority issues in the aftermath of the hurricane.

This policy was effective as of 1pm on Oct 31, 2012. 

Some business and bar owners are furious, saying that they’re devastated, not because of the storm, but because of the village’s actions.

“In my 38 years here (as a Nyack business owner), we’ve had state of emergencies, devastations, my business has been flooded and had no power, but in the past, we opened anyway by candlelight,” said Marianne Olive, owner of Olive’s and Sour Kraut in Nyack. “Businesses were open and everyone was calm.”

“What (the Village of Nyack) is doing is suspending our liquor license,” said Rob Lewis, owner of O'Donoghues Tavern and part-owner of Pour House in Nyack. “(White) has no right to do that. People are sitting in the dark and can’t go out to have a meal and a drink.”

Lewis and Olive and other business and bar owners in Nyack met with White on Thursday evening to address their concerns. They say it was an “unproductive meeting (because) we’re still banned from serving alcohol indefinitely” and have scheduled a public meeting with the village on Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. in front of the village hall.

“We’d like to invite all businesses, employees, the customers of these businesses and the residents to come out to this meeting,” said Olive.

“I did some research and prohibition was repealed in 1933,” said Lewis. “This is an abuse of power.”

White said that the village has the authority to have the ban by the village attorney and Orangetown PD because of the current conditions of the village caused by Hurricane Sandy.

He added that he lost his entire food stock and his businesses are hurting more each day this ban continues.

“We’re angry because we’re losing several thousand dollars everyday and we’ve never been forced to close or a ban on alcohol before,” said Lewis.

“I’ve lost $30,000-35,000 worth of food, $10,000 in beer and kegs, I have 40 employees who all need to get paid and want to work,” said Olive. “(The mayor) is not a business owner, none of the village trustees are business owners, so they don’t understand what we’re going through.” 

Watchdog November 02, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Yes, and we can replace all these businesses with windmill stores.
Watchdog November 02, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Everything you just said is discriminatory and against the law.
Dwight November 02, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I don't think it's discriminatory at all. On the contrary- it's representative of DISCRETIONARY decisions that could be made by the bar owners temporarily. They have every right to limit how much they serve and to whom. Happens all of the time. They also have the right to raise the age for entry to THEIR establishments anytime they want. Happens all of the time. There are many bars that will only serve 25 and over patrons to try to limit their liability.
Richard Kavesh November 02, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Another question to be answered at 10:30: is the curfew still in effect? If so, what is the time limit and to where does it apply? These issues are too serious for some of the flippant answers and personal attacks I see here. Stick to the issues, friends.
Mairebk November 02, 2012 at 02:34 PM
The curfew was only for Oct 31 Evening to 5am November 1st "Due to the danger of fallen wires and damaged trees, the Village of Nyack has instituted a curfew for the Village from the hours of 6pm to 5am for the evening of October 31 into the morning of November 1." Please do not take children out trick or treating this afternoon or evening. The Village will schedule an event for children after we get through the storm clean up.
John Gromada November 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM
How did they expect people to know about this?
Mairebk November 02, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Where do you get this information...nothing posted on the village site - I think you are mis-informed.
Jordan Turner November 02, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Regardless of which side of the issue you are on, it would be nice if, given that these are trying times for all, we could discuss it in a civil manner. This is not about the mayor against the business owners, it is a disagreement about what is best for the village right now. There is no reason to make the attacks personal.
Mairebk November 02, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I think people need to calm down and look at the intent of these restrictions. Our mayor is doing a really good job of trying to balance the needs or everyone while protecting the safety of everyone. It might not be prefect but give her credit for trying, I am really confused about the personal attacks on the mayor and others.... "newbie" what the hell does that mean? Do you really think you need to have lived in this town over 15 years to understand it...? Really??? I am sorry the bars are so affected - I am sure it is devastating, but people's safety is more important to me. The lack of traffic lights and lack of police available to supervise the bar crowd does cause me some concern. I see people blowing through the "traffic lights" all day long, now make it dark and a person has had a drink (or two) and it is a problem waiting to happen.
Watchdog November 02, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Wrong...it IS the Mayor against the tax paying business owners.
Mairebk November 02, 2012 at 02:50 PM
It was on the website,on Facebook, in the paper, on the radio and TV. Hard to get the word out when so many are without power. If there is a next time I suggest a poster / sign at the village hall ...
Watchdog November 02, 2012 at 02:51 PM
You have a lot of questions for a former Mayor of Nyack. Why don't you ask your friends instead of posting on a bulletin board? This is a bad example for your students.
Lynda November 02, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Long time Nyack resident Seriously, who does the Mayor think is going to flock to Nyack to hang out in bars with no power. The only people she is hurting are the local residents who could use an hour or two out of their houses to socialize and have a bite to eat, most of whom would be walking anyway. Include me in that category. As for the safety of kids, they shouldn't be out on the street at night anyway. This is big brother run amuck!
Richard Kavesh November 02, 2012 at 03:28 PM
...which is exactly what the Republicans want to do to women and their reproductive choices and people of the same sex who love each other and want to get married. Let's face it: both parties believe in big government, they just choose to be big and small over different issues. Republican policies are by far more personally "I know better" intrusive.
Linda g November 02, 2012 at 03:39 PM
scroll up its in the article you are commenting on!
Linda g November 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I second that!
Dwight November 02, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Many of the restaurants and bars DO have power. One whole side of the street has power. That's what this is about - the businesses owners wanted to re-open once their power was restored!
Kim Tran (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 04:33 PM
That curfew was only for Halloween night
Kim Tran (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Food and alcohol may be served in Nyack until 10 p.m. tonight
Pat November 02, 2012 at 05:03 PM
@John, first of, there are at least two "Pats". But children, and teenagers, often trick-or-treat unsupervised. I still maintain it is dangerous to simply ignore the ban. And yes, maybe people, of all stripes, should have been banned from certain areas. When something happens, and people were warned, they refuse to take responsibility. Think lung cancer from smoking.
Carlo Pellegrini November 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM
The latest from Mayor White and the OPD at the 10:30am meeting this morning: there is no curfew in effect and has not been since Halloween night; the ban on alcohol sales is lifted all day up til 10pm tonight. Chief Nulty said they will take this one day at a time. A Nyack citizen asked if a compromise could be reached: allow the bars/restaurants to be open 24/7 (or some reasonable time limit) for food, warmth, cell phone recharging, and not serve alcohol past 10pm. The Chief and Mayor's team is in discussions right now considering that suggestion. It was supported by Marianne Olive (Olive's) and Sean Spicer (The Pour House). The Chamber supports this idea. It would allow the downtown to offer a haven for residents and allow folks to weather the storm. The Chamber asks the bars/restaurants to act responsibly in light of the no-lights and after-dark dangers prevalent if bar patrons drink too much, try to drive home and put the rest of the community in harm's way. The Mayor and her team is following the lead of Chief Nulty who stated categorically that in his 37 years on the force he has not seen the potential dangers this historic storm has brought on. His law enforcement and public safety experience is dictating the decisions in Nyack at the moment. And keep in mind: this situation is not forever. There are many more decisions to be made that are more life-threatening than whether the bars can serve alcohol or not. The Chamber supports every effort to keep Nyack open.
Johnson November 02, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Is it to unsafe to have a beer in my own home? What about the banning of sales from the corner store? Ohhh, thats right, I'm probably too irresponsible to handle that on my own. Thank you Jen for saving me from myself.
kta1227 November 02, 2012 at 06:49 PM
What the hell does people going through stop signs have to do with an alcohol ban? Being able to conduct business as usual doesn't seem an outrageous demand.
Residents First November 03, 2012 at 11:14 AM
@Robert Actually they can and did! And the safety of the WHOLE COMMUNITY is more of a concern, then you being able to sell beer/alcohol. Shame on all you bar owners. You don't care about the community!
Residents First November 03, 2012 at 11:16 AM
@Kavesh H8er Thats was unnecessary and disgusting, but I guess your big because you hid behind a username.
Richard Kavesh November 03, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Why don't you stick to the issues instead of getting stuck in the politics of personal destruction? But since you made this personal, I'm frankly honored that you would think enough of me and my ideas to take the trouble to create an ID named after me -- thought that sort of thing was reserved for lunatics on the right towards Obama. Proud to be in his company.
Carlo Pellegrini November 04, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Johnson...I think you may have missed the point. You have every right to have a beer in your own home. But if you own a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol, and it was two days ago, you did not have the privilege of selling a beer to a patron after 10pm. You can thank the Mayor for saving you from people who are known to drink too much at several establishments downtown who cannot act as responsibly as you might...who, while under the influence, might decide to get in their car and drive through a pitch black downtown and maybe, just maybe, run into you and your family (if you have one), or you and your friends. I believe genuine thank you's are in order for the Mayor of Nyack, not your sarcasm.
Johnson November 04, 2012 at 07:06 AM
After reading your post, yes, I have totally missed the point. Thank you.
Cathy November 12, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I think the bar and restaurants in Nyack better start concentrating on throwing out ALL the spoiled food from the power outage! Many of the restaurants are serving sour and dangerous food. The mayor should concentrate on getting inspectors into these kitchens and making sure all the bad food is thrown away!
Cathy November 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM
I agree! Here is your big goverment! Enjoy!


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