While the Knockdown Center is on its way to acquiring a place of assembly permit for 5,000 people, its manager feels that its attempt at garnering a 600-plus person liquor license has been the subject of some confusion.
Tyler Myers, the arts venue’s manager, believes that some of its detractors are under the impression that the Knockdown Center only plans to serve up to 600 people if it gets the liquor license it seeks.
In fact, if and when the center gains the 5,000-person place of assembly permit it seeks, up to that many people may be served alcohol, instead of only up to 600 patrons.
“It’s not like we just came up with that number when we applied,” Myers said. “That’s just the box we decided to check off on the application: ‘600-plus.’”
However, even some area elected officials appear confused about just how many people the center’s liquor license would be for.
A letter to the State Liquor Authority penned by state Sens. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), as well as Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside), and dated Dec. 10 states “It has come to our attention that the Knockdown Center ... applied for a liquor license to serve up to 600 patrons.”
That letter also says that the center has received its place of assembly permit for 5,000 people, but only a plan exam laying the groundwork for such a permit has been granted by the Buildings Department so far.
Addabbo says he believes the SLA will rule on the matter in early 2014.
Community Board 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri says he knew all along of the center’s 600-plus plan, acknowledging that “it’s just a check-off box on the application,” but that it doesn’t change how he views the potential rowdiness that may occur should the site serve 600 patrons or more.
“The 600-plus liquor license means just that. It can go up to whatever the occupancy is,” Arcuri said. “I can understand if it was an Orthodox wedding hall where you would get 5,000 people, but to have 5,000 at a party or rave is a lot.”