An arts center in Ridgewood is applying for a liquor license. Okay, sounds like Williamsburg so far.
But while it wants to serve alcohol for its weekend music shows, the owners also want to make more money so that they can continue to offer free services on weekdays to the local community — especially the intellectually disabled.
“The basic logic behind this place is we’re here in the community and the community needs space so we give them space,” said Sam Hillmer, one of the owners of the venue Trans Pecos. “We believe that we can be the new model for new art spaces opening up in the community.”
Every Tuesday afternoon, The Downtown Electric band can be found practicing its music set. The group is made up of six intellectually disabled people who have been practicing in the space since Trans Pecos opened in December 2013.
Harris, who is a Certified Safety Professional, explains that some days the venue gets too hot, causing them to have to cut the band’s practice short. But with the liquor license, Hillmer said there will be enough money to install an air conditioner and make the venue more tolerable for AHRC and other community groups.
The venue also houses a record label, Northern Spy, and a coffee shop is in the process of being built in the front of the building.
Hillmer and the other owner, Justin Todd Patrick, applied for a liquor license with the State Liquor Authority last week and they are also seeking the approval of Community Board 5.
Ok, so in a nutshell, they're using the excuse that the kids need air conditioning in order to get their liquor license. Their temp C of O says restaurant and rehearsal studio. Here's what it looked like inside when the Silent Barn was illegally operating out of it.
[See last comment for update.]
Friday, July 18, 2014
Liquor license excuse sounds like a huge crock of crap
Posted by Queens Crapper at 12:16 AM
Labels: air conditioner, certificate of occupancy, Department of Buildings, liquor license, Ridgewood
alcoholic hipsters in dire need.their pretentious striving to mediocre art and music scene is suffering.
will somebody please think of the(Overdeveloped)children?
die gentrifying scum
Just look at him in the picture. 'nuff said.
i want to punch that guy in the face so bad
how do you know he's not one of the intellectually disabled folks?
but seriously, this place seems to be doing good work, no matter what the guy looks like. People are allowed to wear funny hats for god sake
Crapper that picture is unfair. You're going to rile up everybody posting things like that.
You can't automatically call bullshit on this because the guy looks hipster-y.
Helping "special needs" people and kids is a good thing, and they could just do a bar without bothering with all that.
It's not like CB 5 busts your balls and you have to do a publicity blitz to get a liquor license, so maybe these guys, are, you know, NOT FULL OF SHIT.
CB5 has begun the pushback against the Williamsburg-Bushwick invasion (see Knockdown Center), so maybe not.
No one can seem to answer the simple question posed in the original posting: How is this location anywhere close to a safe space to hold "weekend music shows", especially since their temp C of O says restaurant and rehearsal studio?
It's a low key little spot. You're getting your panties in a bunch over a tiny place whose music events average about 25 attendees or fewer.
To answer your question, as someone who has been an expediter and worked out of architectural firm offices, and after pulling up this spot's C of O...
"Eating / Drinking Establishment" is a bit of a misnomer and really can refer to a bar or a restaurant, and can include live entertainment of various types. It's very normal for a smaller "club" space to fall under this designation, as it's sort a generic for a bar (as far as the DoB is concerned) with or without entertainment, that does not exceed an occupancy of 74 persons (which would trigger a "Place of Assembly").
Their C of O is for 71 people for their "eating / drinking establishment" and an additional 8 for the "rehearsal space."
As long as the events that occur there are under 71 people, they are fully within regulation for "safety" under that C of O.
Yes and I'm sure they will make sure their events fall under 74 people...just like Silent Barn did!
The Silent Barn rarely drew any crowd.
Your hostility seems a bit clueless. Have you ever actually been to any of these places that you're angry about?
As long as the applicants have clear criminal records they don't need any "excuse" to get approved for a liquor license, regardless of whether you like how they look or not. Sounds like they will get approved, and there's nothing wrong with that. Liquor is legal in this country.
This location is barely even in Queens. It's right on the Southern border. So, who cares? It seems absolutely harmless.
Actually, if the community board says no, the license is generally not granted, regardless of the applicant's criminal history.
Silent Barn has photos on its Facebook page which show how many people attended their illegal concerts back when. It's certainly more than 25.
It's best to stop this crap at the border.
Here's what I don't get...
They want to service the local community, yet they are shipping in kids from downtown Brooklyn? There are no kids closer to Ridgewood or- gasp - in Ridgewood?
I agree, this sounds like bunk.
Why does everything need liquor these days to operate? And if only 25 people are going to show up at a show, how will liquor even be profitable enough to install an A/C system?
Advertising events as BYOB/420 isn't exactly going to go over well at CB 5 or SLA...
Their events are licensed to sell beer and wine - they do not allow any BYOB.
Who's shipping kids in from anywhere? They work with a local afterschool program and the space is also used by mentally handicapped adults who come in from centers all over the City. This is all in the article.
If you have an issue with providing space for mentally handicapped individuals to learn then you are a deeply unhumanitarian person.
What seems like bunk and a crock to this reader is the ignorant attempt to attack this project because you don't like a guy's hat in a picture in the Courier. Get over your cranky old selves, you don't even know what you're opposed to.
You're allowed 4 events per year with alcohol if you don't have a permanent liquor license. They've had dozens of events at this venue thus far.
The article says the kids are shipped in from Brooklyn.
No one said that there was a problem with providing mentally handicapped kids a chance to learn, the question was why the kids had to be brought in from Brooklyn.
I was told to keep this place on my radar from a friend weeks ago, before this article came out. So your assumption that I posted about this because I didn't like the guys hat is a stupid and incorrect one. You'll also note that I never used the word hipster once.
Why go for a C of O for a place for 71 persons if the place can only comfortably host 25?
I read about the old Silent Barn and it was run out of someone's living room!
They are not for profit organization.
not for profits are exempt from the restriction to 4 special event beer and wine permits per year. Their events are always licensed, they always have licenses posted conspicuously.
You may not like it, but they are following the rules.
Crapper, you have it in for these people for some reason and you're throwing every accusation you've got at them. But you don't have the facts correct.
Crapper, I like you but you're not being fair.
You deleted a very reasonable post this writer submitted last night, with links to current photos and making the point that they actually restored the building and built out a very handsome facility in there. It doesn't look a thing like the Silent Barn, and their restoration of the building is something I think this blog could get behind, if you'd reconsider your bias.
Why are you keeping your finger on the scale here and being unreasonable about this project? That not consistent with the guy who put this on this profile:
"Let us dare to read, think, speak and write."
here are those pics again:
Mentally handicapped *adults*, not kids.
The youth are part of an after school program based on Wyckoff ave, 6 blocks away on the corner of Gates.
If you don't like these people, fine, but get the facts right. No one is busing in kids from anywhere.
Oh, it's registered as a CHARITY? This gets even better. What is the name that the not-for-profit registered with?
A space that operates as a club, bar, record label and coffee shop and allows some mentally disabled people to use their building for a few hours a week is registered as a not-for-profit?
No one said it only comfortably holds 25 people. DOB licensed them for 71, so it can hold that many, obviously. Quit misleading people
Looked up Trans Pecos and 915 Wyckoff Ave on charities websites and came up empty. Also noticed they don't have a donations section on their website or info about their 501c3 status. I do hope they post this info because now I'm really curious.
"Their C of O is for 71 people for their "eating / drinking establishment" and an additional 8 for the "rehearsal space."
The restaurant allows 70 and their rehearsal space allows 18 per the link posted. That's a lot of people in a skinny warehouse.
Yesterday the guy in the photo wrote to me to let me know that his intentions are good. I wrote back today and asked him to provide the name of his not for profit. I'm willing to give this place a chance, but I need to check out their legitimacy first. Since they claim everything is above board, I'm sure they'll be forthcoming.
Ok, so here's the info I got directly from the owner:
The organization is registered as an educational NFP with the AG's office as Trans-Pecos. They do not have a 501c3 and are sponsored by a group called Jump Arts. They have applied for temp liquor licenses when they served liquor or run dry events and the listings you may see that say 420 friendly or BYOB were not authorized by them.
The linked-to permit info from the DOB is correct - occupancy of 70 for the coffee shop/bar.
If more develops on this, I'll report on it.
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