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Bullet Points: Pera Cafe Denied Sidewalk Cafe Permit Following Close Board Vote
Posted By Ned Berke On December 19, 2012 @ 4:00 pm In News & Features | 3 Comments
Pera Cafe Loses Bid For Sidewalk Cafe: Community Board 15 denied an application for a sidewalk cafe at Pera Cafe, a new Turkish restaurant and lounge at 2255 Emmons Avenue, in a near-split vote after members raised questions about pedestrian safety and the restaurant’s own track record.
Pera Cafe’s owners sought to add tables and chairs for outdoor restaurant service in front of the Emmons Avenue restaurant. But the board voted 16 to 15 to deny the license, and the restaurant was blasted by executive boardmember Allen Popper for attempting to run an unlicensed cafe over the summer.
Popper cited Department of Consumer Affairs violations, noting that the cafe was issued violations for operating an illegal outdoor cafe on July 12 and July 24, and was ultimately padlocked on August 6 for the violation.
A representative for Pera told the Board that the violations occurred because the previous owner told them they had a permit and showed them a receipt, which turned out to be erroneous.
But that didn’t fly with Popper.
“You fool me once, you can’t fool me twice. I could understand the first time maybe he thought he had a license, I’ll buy that, we all know people make mistakes,” Popper said. “But he knew when he got the ticket that whatever information he thought [before], he knew wasn’t true, was a lie, was a mistake, and he still continued to put people at risk on the sidewalk.”
Other boardmembers also showed concern that the sidewalk was not large enough to contain a sidewalk cafe, especially in light of two trees in front of the restaurant. A boardmember and representative from the borough president’s Disability Committee also spoke against it, noting the area’s high concentration of seniors and disabled.
Other members, however, defended the business, saying that in the wake of Superstorm Sandy the Board should do what it can to help local businesses.
Other actions and info:
“Bullet Points” is our new format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.
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