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.]