Long Island City residents’ battle over noisy bars continued Tuesday night when Community Board 2 heard discussions about a proposed establishment and continuing complaints about another.
A large part of the meeting was devoted to a new L.I.C. restaurant set to open this winter. Open Door, described as a casual-dining restaurant that would serve “American tapas,” is in the process of applying for a liquor license and seeking community support.
Michael Pisacane, 53, lives in the Badge Building at 10-55 47th Ave. and is a member of its board of directors. He is agreeable to having more restaurants in the area and wants Open Door to obtain a liquor license.
“There are hundreds of people like me who would like places to go to for dinner,” Pisacane said.
Executive chef for Open Door, Nick Guitart, was quick to assure C.B. 2 and area residents that the establishment would not be a nuisance and a great spot for locals. His business partner, Ryan Voerg, said Open Door would be the kind of place for “celebrations that deserve a toast,” such as bridal and baby showers.
The restaurant will consist of a seating area, bar and small lounge for private parties and dinners. It will not have any outdoor space.
L.I.C. resident Maryann Raschilla, 30, is excited at the prospect of having a tapas in the area. Like many of her neighbors at the meeting, especially those who have felt the negative effects of Lounge 47, Raschilla would not mind if Open Door served alcohol, as long as it was done responsibly.
It was announced that Lounge 47 recently came under new management with a new lawyer. Attorney Charles Linn was at the meeting and acknowledged noise complaints. He said he was “taken aback” about the criticism and is open to working with the community.
C.B. 2 Chairman Joseph Conley is optimistic about working with Lounge 47’s new owners. He believes they will be more open to creating dialogue, unlike the previous ones who “did not live up to the letter of what they promised.”
Raschilla lives in the building next to Lounge 47 and is eager to see some change. Her family life has been affected by the noise and smoke that comes from the establishment’s backyard area.
“Our house smells like one big cigarette,” Raschilla said, adding that her weekends are “horrible” due to the loud crowds.
She is especially concerned about her children’s safety and wants the establishment to place a bar over the sidewalk delivery doors when they are open.
Raschilla, a mother with an 18-month- old son and 5-month-old daughter, also had a message for Open Door and other restaurants in the area that label themselves as family-friendly. “If you’re family-oriented, have a changing table,” she said.
The community board did not have enough members present to vote on the liquor license, which is only advisory. The state Liquor Authority makes the final determination.