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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“I did some research and prohibition was repealed in 1933,” said Lewis.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.”