Sunday, February 22, 2009

CB 10 Denies Cabaret License by Howard Koplowitz -

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Debbie Carney from City Planning made an appearance at Community Board 10, who voted to deny a cabaret license for Villa Marcella. Photo by Howard Koplowitz

Community Board 10 voted to deny a cabaret license to a renovated Ozone Park catering hall last week, claiming such a license would be inappropriate and would cause a nuisance in the community.

Dan Austin, representing the new owners of Villa Marcella during a public hearing at CB 10 last week, said all the necessary permits to operate the catering hall had been filed and that the owners were expecting to get their liquor license approved this week.

“They took an old building to make it new again,” he said of the renovation to Villa Marcella, which has been in Ozone Park at 96−25 Rockaway Blvd. for nearly 50 years. “I think it’s something that will be good for the community.”

But some CB 10 members said they were against Villa Marcella receiving a cabaret license, which is required for patrons to dance in an establishment.

“This is going to be another way that people outside our community can cause a little heartache for us,” said CB 10 member Margaret Finnerty.

CB 10 member Peter Granickas said he was concerned that when dancing and alcohol are mixed at businesses with cabaret licenses, “it turns into the Wild West with shootouts.”

But Austin said Villa Marcella’s owners were not interested in renting out the space to club promoters if it acquired a cabaret license and would use the dancing permit for weddings and other celebrations.

“It’s going to be a mom−and−pop community place,” he said.

CB 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton said the board received three letters in support of Villa Marcella, including two that were sent by its owners.

She also said the Ozone Park Civic Association sent a letter requesting the board to not give the go−ahead for the cabaret license because the establishment is in a residential community with schools and it would not set a good example for children.

CB 10 ultimately complied with the civic’s request and voted against the cabaret license in a hand vote.