Plas­tered Place

New York Post - - NEWS - By MELISSA KLEIN mklein@ny­

A ti­dal wave of booze is flood­ing St. Marks Place, neigh­bors com­plain.

De­spite a state law that is sup­posed to limit the num­ber of places sell­ing hard liquor, beer and wine to three within a 500-foot ra­dius, dozens of gin mills ex­ist cheekby-jowl on the East Vil­lage street.

A pro­posal for yet an­other bar and restau­rant at 20 St. Marks Place re­veals there are 32 liquor li­censes within 500 feet.

And that’s be­fore you count two more pend­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for wa­ter­ing holes, State Liquor Author­ity records show.

Bars and restau­rants get around the three-bar limit if they go through a spe­cial hear­ing process and con­vince the SLA that it is “within the pub- lic in­ter­est” to grant the li­cense.

The loop­hole is in­fu­ri­at­ing to some St. Marks res­i­dents who are fed up with the pro­lif­er­a­tion of bars and the noisy crowds they at­tract.

“What’s the point in hav­ing a law if you’re mak­ing ex­cep­tions ev­ery­where?” asked Susi Schropp, a graphic designer who has lived on St. Marks Place since 1990. “How many more do we want to add to this one block? What are we turn­ing it into? Is it al­co­hol row for the stu­dents?”

Bars and booze-sling­ing eater­ies have mul­ti­plied as the unique re­tail shops that had al­ways de­fined the stretch have shut­tered in re­cent years.

The space at 20 St. Marks Place is the for­mer home of the Sounds record shop. What was once Mondo Kim’s video store is now home to two bars.

“This is now turn­ing into a liquor-li­cense mul­ti­plex in a build­ing where we had zero liquor li­censes for decades,” Schropp said.

And Ian Fair, who ran Sounds for many years and still lives in the build­ing, said, “Stack­ing bars on top of bars is not a happy thought for me.”

Fair closed Sounds in 2015 af­ter the land­lord tripled the rent.

Com­mu­nity Board 3 will make a rec­om­men­da­tion to the SLA on the liquor-li­cense ap­pli­ca­tion.

An SLA spokesman said com­mu­nity boards can some­times reach an agree­ment with a bar owner to limit hours or out­door space to ad­dress com­mu­nity con­cerns.

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