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Public Safety & Quality of Life

Bryant Park/42nd between 5th & 6th – “ARK Bryant Park Corp”, Application for on-premises Seasonal Winter Liquor License (Nov – May)

WHEREAS, “ARK Bryant Park Corp,” located at Bryant Park, 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, and presently operating the “Bryant Park Grill” intends to file an application for a Seasonal Winter Liquor License for “The Ice Café,” located in a new tent at the east end of Bryant Park; and

WHEREAS, The applicant, currently operating under a temporary wine and beer license, has now applied for an on-premises liquor license to use until January 15th in “The Ice Café,” that overlooks the newly erected ice skating rink that covers the park’s lawn; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five, along with other agencies, organizations and residents, is on record and has expressed concern that Bryant Park has become largely a venue for commercial and private events, thereby ultimately failing to restore to the public its only parkland oasis away from the busy midtown area; and

WHEREAS, It is mandated and Community Board Five has insisted since the inception of Bryant Park Restoration Corporation (BPRC), that proposed activities for Bryant Park, including commercial activities, come before the board as part of the public review process; and

WHEREAS, BPRC representatives attended Parks Committee meetings regarding this installation and each time agreed to return to the committee regarding specific questions and concerns, e.g., sponsorship, size, cost, timeframe, safety, revenue, liquor license; and

WHEREAS, BPRC proceeded with installing the facility without the board’s knowledge and more importantly, the appropriate public input, announcing at a press conference the “opening” of the rink and holiday shops around the perimeter; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five has also learned that the facilities will be rented out for private events; and

WHEREAS, There would be no need for a Seasonal Liquor License without the rink and holiday shops, which the board was not able to obtain specifics and opine on; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five believes that a liquor license for a bar specifically related to the ice rink is not in the public interest because it:

WHEREAS, The Central Park ice rink and the Rockefeller Center ice rink have no liquor license directly attached to the operators of these rinks and are successful operations; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five does not recommend the Seasonal Winter Liquor License for “ARK Bryant Park Corporation” because it is not in the public interest as it contributes to further overuse, over commercialization and encroachment of public space in Bryant Park.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 25 in favor, 1 opposed, 2 abstention.

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