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.