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Amid Glut, Liquor Licenses Still Sought

South Brooklyn Pizza outsideIan Duncan A passerby inspects South Brooklyn Pizza’s liquor license notice. Despite the hurdles of entering a thoroughly saturated market, owners of bars and restaurants are still flocking to the East Village – and filing applications for liquor licenses.

This weekend, the Post reported what we all kind of knew anyway. The East Village has more places to buy booze than any other neighborhood in the city: 474 in the 10003 zip code by their count. Cue mass eye-rolling in the blogosphere at the non-news.

Concerned by the profusion of bars, Community Board 3 and the authority have started to toughen up. Last month, the board narrowly voted down a liquor license application for a Mexican restaurant run by Two Boots Pizza owner Phil Hartman and music promoter Todd Patrick.

The reason for the proliferation of bars hinges on zoning technicalities and what critics say was the State Liquor Authority’s past trigger-happy attitude to handing out licenses.

That created momentum and now entrepreneurs are desperate to get a foothold in the neighborhood, despite the obstacles. Next Monday, 33 businesses will put their case for new or expanded licenses to the community board.

In a bold step, the owners of South Brooklyn Pizza labeled the community board “infamous” and urged their customers to sign a petition supporting their application. EV Grieve noted the claim, trigging much rumbling from the blog’s commenters.
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