Call it the Mamary’s Law.
Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Carroll Gardens) has won passage of her bill to make it harder for bar owners — like controversial would-be oyster bar owner Jim Mamary — to open saloons near schools and places of worship.
Both houses in Albany have passed Millman’s bill, which would make it illegal for bars to open if any part of the bar’s property is 200 feet or less from any part of a school and house of the holy.
Currently, the law bans taverns whose front doors are within 200 feet of the main entrance of schoolhouses, churches, synagogues and mosques. That law left a loophole for crafty entrepreneurs, some of whom have rebuilt their establishments so their front door is just beyond the 200-foot mark.
“This change would not cost the state a dime, but it certainly would benefit our neighborhoods immensely,” Millman said, adding that she introduced the bill “largely in response to community input that we close this loophole.”
That input appears directed specifically at Mamary’s proposed oyster bar on Hoyt Street between Union and Sackett streets. Neighbors say the entrance to that bar is 196 feet from St. Agnes Church at the corner of Sackett and Hoyt streets — meaning that the bar should not be permitted to open anyway. But residents worry that Mamary would reconfigure the entrance to use the loophole.
Mamary, who also owns the Black Mountain wine bar on Union Street around the corner from the proposed oyster bar, has been embroiled in a battle with his neighbors to win a liquor license for his newest venture since he brought it before the Community Board 6 Landmarks and Land Use Committee in January.
He declined to talk about the new law.
“I don’t want to comment about any of it because it’s been a harrowing and expensive experience for me,” Mamary, an original partner in the beloved Smith Street bistro, Patois, told The Brooklyn Paper.
©2008 Community News Group
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