Nyack Businesses Speak Out on Food, Alcohol Ban (VIDEOS)

Orangetown Chief Kevin Nulty said that there are plain-clothes officers checking establishments and those that violate the curfew may get a misdemeanor charge. White will be at Village hall at 11 a.m. everyday (including weekends) to give updates


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For the safety of Nyack residents, the Village of Nyack placed a ban on alcohol that started Wednesday night and is ongoing until all street and traffic lights have been restored, according to Mayor Jen Laird-White. 

On Friday, the ban changed to a service curfew of 10 p.m. All businesses are allowed to serve food and alcohol until 10 p.m. To discuss concerns with the curfew, business owners asked White for a 10:30 a.m. meeting preceeding White's 11 a.m. Hurricane Sandy Village hall Q&A session. The Nyack Chamber of Commerce is also advising businesses to hold off on the sale of alcohol. 

White listed the reasons for the 10 p.m. curfew on businesses:

  • “We don’t have properly powered street lights. The streets are quite dark.” She added that there have been many close accidents with drivers not treating downed traffic lights as a stop sign.
  • “Because of an incredible number of emergencies town-wide, we are down in the number of police officers we have covering late-night activity. A single bar fight leaves us with zero policing for domestic violence, car accidents, for someone getting electrocuted from the multitude of still-down power lines.”

“The original implementation of both curfew and ban on alcohol service was based purely on public safety,” she said. “It was not meant to inconvenience any of you. We understand that those of you who are fortunate enough to exist on the hospital grid and have power, want to get your businesses up and running; three-quarters of the downtown is still without power and according to the most recent timeline, it may be that way until Nov. 11."

She added that the village officials understood the busineses concerns, but that their first issue must be public safety.

“We know you want to get back to serving, we know you want to feed people, we know that our residents would love to be able to come into the downtown, have something to eat before they go back to their cold dark houses. We are aware of this. We’re re-examining this issue on a daily basis.”

Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty said that the “curfew was originally for 6 p.m. but we extended it to 10 p.m. because people in the village need to eat and need a drink.”

“We cut off alcohol service at 10 p.m.; this way there won’t be people coming to the village from outside the village there is still a travel advisory in the county. We do not want people coming to the village because of the lighting situation, because of the (thinly-spread) police in the communities still,” he said.

Nulty added that this decision was a joint one made among the police, the mayor and village board. The curfew will be put in place Friday night and they’ll “keep on re-assessing it” if needed.

Kaete Nazaroff’s husband owns two Nyack businesses that are both still out of power.

“I have two small children, my husband has two businesses—both with no power—that are our main source of income, but I think the village is doing a great job handling this situation so far,” said Nazaroff. “Safety should come first.”

Officials said they want people off the streets after 10 p.m. and don’t want people from outside the village coming into town because “it gets pretty feisty here after midnight from the drinking. I’ve been talking with police and we’ve had increased domestic (cases) and alcohol seems to always to be an issue. People are at each other’s throats in their own households and we don’t want that to spill onto the streets,” said Nulty, adding that there was one case of looting (Thursday) night at a Nyack deli.

He added that there are plain-clothes officers checking establishments and those that violate the curfew may get a misdemeanor charge.

“In my 37 years on the police department, this is a very extraordinary circumstance. I’ve never seen it like this. I think we’re airing on the side of public safety and caution. It’s dangerous down here in these low-light conditions.”

However, most business owners are speaking out against the curfew saying that not only does it hurt busineses, but also the community members who need a place to go for heat or food.

“People are coming to my business to watch TV, for heat and then (the village) wants us to send them home at 10 p.m.,” said Sean Spicer, co-owner of the Pour House in Nyack. “We know where (the village officials) are coming from, but disagree.”

“My power went out at 9 p.m. Monday night. I have no power, no news, no food,” said Mike DeLuca, a new Nyack resident, who lives right across the street from the Pour House. “(The curfew), it’s unenforceable.” Spicer said that it was unfortunate that he had to “kick him (DeLuca) out.”

Heidi Nolan, who works at the Pour House, suggested that the village close down streets at night and the locals can walk to the businesses.

“That way people with no heat or electricity can come,” she said. “We just want to help out the community.”

One resident asked if businesses could open past 10 p.m. without serving food or drinks, but serve as a shelter.

Marianne Olive, owner of Olive’s and Sour Kraut in Nyack, asked the village to consider allowing businesses to keep food service going past 10 p.m.

“I want to open and be a place where people can get warm, get a bite to drink. My kitchen is normally open until 2 a.m. Is there a way to get the kitchens open past 10 p.m. and not serve alcohol?” she asked. “It’s really not rowdy and frankly, there’s not going to be that much people. Some people don’t have (power) and it’s freezing cold and dark and people want to (get out) and talk to people.”

White said that “it’s not just about alcohol. It’s about lateness and darkness and streets not functioning. The county has a travel advisory so they don’t want people coming to Nyack.”

“We’ve had blackouts before, we’ve never had to shut down our downtown,” said Rob Lewis, owner of O'Donoghues Tavern and part-owner of Pour House in Nyack. “Other parts of Orangetown have their lights on and they’re serving.”

Chris Monaco, a resident of South Nyack, said that other towns, such as Blauvelt, are in similar conditions as Nyack but businesses are allowed to operate as usual.

“It’s about people who own and work in these establishments who need to support their families. Everyone has to pay their bills,” said Monaco. “I had to go to Bailey’s in Blauvelt with my wife last night to get some food and a drink. They don’t have power, they don’t have lights. We’re looking at a town (Nyack) that is shut down after 10 p.m. when another town (Blauvelt) under the same jurisdiction of the Orangetown Police Department, has been open for business … everyone gets to get together, neighbors, friends. We are all people who live in this town. We’re not kids. We’re residents and citizens.”

Other people mentioned the unlevel playing field in that Pearl River had more Orangetown police officers because they had power and were up and running.

Nulty clarified by saying that Nyack usually has two officers, but now has three and a supervisor.

Olive also brought up the fact that Hudson Valley Restaurant Week begins this weekend, adding that right now, it seems like the village is deterring people from coming to Nyack.

Check back with Nyack Patch for more on this and meeting

Residents First November 03, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Safety FIRST, not the BARS... Olives, Pour House, Bourban Street, etc go somewhere else if you only care about your bars.
Residents First November 03, 2012 at 12:12 PM
"Other people mentioned the unlevel playing field in that Pearl River had more Orangetown police officers because they had power and were up and running." Pearl River is 7.2 square miles (with 16,000+ people) and Nyack 1.1 square mile (6,000+ people) of course more police will be there.
Alan D. November 03, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Amazing to watch these bar owners bully our Mayor and officials to put profit before the safety of Nyack residents. These bars are lucky that we allow them to run their business in our community. Their ugliness during these desperate times will not be forgotten.
Tom F. November 03, 2012 at 01:21 PM
A few of the bar owners (or those supporting them) at that meeting came off as obnoxious, uncaring loudmouths. They know who they are, and as a South Nyack resident for over 30 years, I'd like to let them know that they've lost my future business.
s3niormoment November 03, 2012 at 01:57 PM
If this argument were to go viral I wonder how it would be viewed by other NY's ... today my friends set off to the Far Rockaways with shovels & garbage bags to clear the debris of their friends home, it was destroyed, there is nothing to salvage ...here in Nyack small business owners with power are moaning about being asked to assist the community until power is returned to the streets...I am convinced the arguments they put forward are primarily about money, not people. I also now ask the question ... will I give them my future business ?
just another voice November 03, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I am in complete agreement with these comments. I applaud the mayor for good orderly direction in this crisis. I think it is ridiculous, irresponsible and greedy for these business establishments to moan about their own profit-fueled needs. Truthfully, it is a real joy to have a few nights of walking through streets that are not littered with butts, vomit, flying bodies, profanity and trash. Such is the low frequency nature of those attracted to our "lovely" beer halls in Nyack.
mike deluca November 03, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I live on Main St across the street from the Pour House, and I will be forever grateful to the owners and the staff for giving me a place to stay warm, to eat, and to watch the news instead of sitting in my dark, cold apartment as I have been doing since Monday night. The Mayor should concentrate on restoring power to the community instead of trying to put the pillars of our community out of business. The owners of the Pour House have donated thousands to better our town, and I know they have been feeding the homeless during this disaster. They even gave me candles one night and free soup last night. They asked the Mayor if they could stay open 24 hours so that they could accommodate the people like me who are without power, heat, and food. She declined. She won't be getting my vote. Do I intend to give the Pour House and Turiello's my future business? You bet I am. I think it is disgracefull that some of you are trying to make this a money issue. Mike Deluca Main Street Nyack
Linda g November 03, 2012 at 02:57 PM
That's great, use the police department to go undercover to bust restaurants that are serving after 10pm, smart, real smart! By the way does anyone give a damn about the restaurant workers who are losing their rent money, food money, gas money???? It is not just owners but workers.
Linda g November 03, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I could not agree more.....maybe she should stand on Broadway & main & direct traffic...she could at least be of use that way
s3niormoment November 03, 2012 at 03:13 PM
We are all loosing money, not everyone posting here is rich. Grow a pair. You make NY's look like a bunch of big babies. Go take a look at SI , take a trip down to Piermont. Go talk to the exhausted emergency workers, city & state foresters, police, O&R crews, who've had all leave and weekends cancelled for the forseeable future ... see if they give a damn about your boohooing. They're the one's driving on these darkened roads. You give a f#*k about yourselves and no one else.
Linda g November 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Everyone is grateful for the emergency workers and first responders but reality is they are getting paid and will be able to pay their bills, feed their kids and fill their cars with gas while this continues and also after this crisis passes. First thing to do is get everyone back and on their feet. Everyone needs to work and make money to survive......I am sure if you ask anyone if they are concerned about people being able to eat buy gas and pay their rent or mortgage, New Yorkers would say yes......You sound like you need to go volunteer s3niormoment, go help someone in real need.....PS - sometimes overtime is a good thing helps pay for the kids college! I'm sure those workers in those businesses forced to close early would take a few weekend overtime shifts if they could get them.
Alan D. November 03, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Nyack residents who are disturbed by the aggressive nature of bar owners during this difficult time in our community, may file a complaint with the New York State Liquor Authority: http://www.sla.ny.gov/register-a-complaint
Locutus of Borg November 03, 2012 at 04:03 PM
@Alan D. Are you serious? Voicing their dissatisfaction with the Mayor's decision is not a violation of any ABC code. Aggressive nature? I was there and I saw people upset their livelihood was arbitrarily threatened. So you're perception of "aggressive nature" is cause for filing a complaint when no law was broken. So the right to free speech and voice grievances to our elected officials is now limited? Your understanding of free speech and the willingness to file complaints without grounds reminds me of stories from eastern bloc countries. You sir, are petty and downright frightening.
Pat November 03, 2012 at 04:19 PM
There are too many bars in Nyack. They should be taxed at a much higher rate.
mike deluca November 03, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Alan The Nyack Police, Fire Department, and emergency workers all deserve to be commended for the outstanding job they have done this past week. But where can I file a complaint against the Mayor for taking a week before she put up emergency lighting on Main Street? Where do I file a complaint against the Mayor for trying to bring back prohibition and curfews that would put the people who nourish this town out of business? Where do I file a complaint against the Mayor for passing these draconian laws that are, in my opinion, illegal and unenforceable? Where do I file a complaint against the Mayor for trying to turn a liberal town into a fascist state? mike deluca Main Street NyackB
Joseph J Gannon November 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM
The business of taverns is to push alcohol, with or generally without regard to the consequences that occur off their premises afterwards. The business of the Chief of Police is to provide for the public safety. His decision is prudent and necessary and can always be reviewed as conditions warrant. I have no iron in the fire with your Mayor, but consider this, you could have "16 Oz" Bloomberg.
Randy November 03, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I applaud Mayor Jen Laird White's leadership and decisions in this crisis. Safety first is a cardinal rule. If bar owners ran establishments that did not require additional police prescence to break up bar fights, enforce DWI laws, prevent vandalism and public urination maybe they could make a case for staying open later. But, sadly, most of them don't. I walked downtown last night around 10:30PM and noticed Olives turning away people telling them about the curfew. Most of the other bars appeared to be open for business. If and when they are cited for violiating the curfew, feel free to use the State Liquor Authority link as that will be grounds for a complaint.
elizabeth November 03, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I must say, that Jen White has truly been the silver lining on the cloudy day! Whenever I'm feeling dissappointed and fed up with some of the problems in this village, she comes up with another refreshing policy! On top of that, she's not afraid to stick her neck out! Bravo Jen! This is an example of what all leaders should do! Forget the politics, and the special interest groups ( bar owners,) and work for the vast majority of the residents of this village! I applaud your integrity & "Chutzpah!"
Johnson November 03, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I have never been so motivated to vote. Who ever is running against Mother Jen has got my support.
Residents First November 04, 2012 at 06:57 AM
I have and never will again! I will stay across the street from now on with the exception of O'Malley's. Casa del Sol and Bourban were another favorite but no more. I will visit OVI and Harbor Hill instead.
Residents First November 04, 2012 at 06:59 AM
Right, not a single report, because Jen made sure the Village was SAFE!!!
Pat November 04, 2012 at 02:42 PM
There are a lot of Alcoholics in Nyack in need of their fix.
Nick November 06, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Are you serious? Lucky (we) you allow them to run their business in your community? What country do you think this is? USA or former USSR? Nyack Resident said it best-close the streets to vehicular traffic if you are worried about safety. There's no gas anyway, who's driving to Nyack other than "out-siders". Closing the streets and allowing those businesses looking to volunteer and help the local residents should be welcomed and applauded not chastised.


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