Category Archives: State Liquor Authority

Earls’s Tuesday 01/27/15 SLA meeting POSTPONED to 02/10/15

The hearing has been moved to Tuesday 02/10/15, 10 AM. “Watch this space...”

“They Might As Well Brick Up Our Windows!” Recording of SLA Hearing.

Below are links to video and audio recordings of the Dec. 10, 2014 NY State Liquor Authority hearing, where we opposed Earl’s Beer and Cheese’s application to put a noisy beer garden into 3 backyards surrounded by hundreds of residents.

We are trying to do a transcript (any volunteers?) but in the meanwhile, you can watch and listen to the video here on your computer*, (scroll down on the page that pops up to Agenda item 8 and click on “Earl’s” Beer and Cheese”), or you can listen to just the audio by clicking here (the audio for our hearing starts at 41:38).

(Some neighbors reported they could not get the video to play on an ipad or iphone, but we have tested and it played fine on both PC and Mac; anyone with an Android / Windows phone, please let us know if the video plays).

At the end of the hearing you will hear Earl’s attorney asking for a holdover to 12/30/14 so they can do noise studies from apartments surrounding the backyards. Go here please to see the update on that issue.

If you agree with and support our efforts to stop businesses from destroying our peace and quiet in NYC backyards, please:

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UPDATED SCHEDULE: Results of 12/10/14 SLA Hearing re Earls’ Expansion


MARK YOUR CALENDERS!: The next SLA hearing is currently scheduled for 10 AM, 12/30/14, has been RESCHEDULED for TUESDAY, JANUARY 27th @ 10 AM, at 317 Lenox Ave., off 126th Street. If you can attend, or help gather more petition signatures and/or letters to go to the NY State Liquor Authority, please click here to contact us.

YardTrue3(Click on image to expand)

On Wednesday morning on Dec. 10, we attended the NY State Liquor Authority Hearing (SLA) hearing for Earl’s expansion plans into the shared backyards (see photo above) between 97th and 98th St, behind Park Ave.

(For background on this issue, please go here or scroll below to our earlier posts or contact us for further detail).

Opponents of the expansion will be pleased to hear that the SLA Commissioners noted the many dozens of letters in opposition that  they received from neighbors surrounding the backyards, as well as the above and additional photos in our 27 page Opposition Document.

We were also allowed to orally present our main objections, as well give statements in response after Earls’ attorney spoke. At the end of the somewhat contentious hearing, the SLA Commissioners were not going to give Earl’s the approval for the backyard expansion as their plans currently stood.

The SLA Chair and other Commissioners were repeatedly noting (a) the backyard space is very small and will echo all noise right into the surrounding homes,, that (b) Earl’s had presented no real suggestions / attempts to even consider how to reduce the noise to the surrounding neighbors, (c) the SLA was  very conscious of the letters from many seniors citizens, some dealing with illness, but all who have lived there for decades whose quality of life would be severely affected even if the backyard was open only during the day on weekends; and as the SLA Chair pointed out,  he also received letters  from hard working people whose apartments face in to the backyards, who depend on the weekend for their 1-2 days of undisturbed quiet and rest.

When it became clear the SLA was not going to approve the expansion into the backyards, Earl’s attorney asked for the hearing to be “held over” so they could get an architect and /or acoustical engineer to to visit some surrounding homes (!), and measure the level of noise that would come from the backyards into the apartments surrounding the backyards.

PLEASE ADVISE US ASAP BY PHONE OR EMAIL IF YOU ARE CONTACTED BY EARLS or any of their representatives for this noise study, as we want to make sure it is done fairly and accurately.

MARK YOUR CALENDERS!: The next SLA hearing is currently scheduled for 10 AM, 12/30/14, has been RESCHEDULED for TUESDAY, JANUARY 27th @ 10 AM, at 317 Lenox Ave., off 126th Street. If you can attend, or help gather more petition signatures and/or letters to go to the NY State Liquor Authority, please click here to contact us.

Before the SLA hearing ended, we also noted there were discrepancies between what Earl’s had put on their application to the SLA vs what they were discussing/proposing  that morning i.e., their application mentions 60 seats, the CB11M resolution also says 60 seats outdoors, but Earl’s diagram shows only and Earl’s attorney only mention 20 seats. (But as the SLA chair noted, even 20 people drinking and eating in that narrow yard would echo insanely into the surrounding apartments).

We also noted  that the hearing for the SLA violation of “sales to minors” for the liquor store Vinyl (on Lexington between 96 & 97th, (co-owned by one of the owners of Earl’s) will not occur until January 8, 2015, and that the SLA should take that into account as to the co-owner’s fitness to operate and/or expand another bar.

We also pointed out that we discovered only that morning that Ed Santos (CB11M Treasurer and former Chair of the CB11M Licensing Committee who seemed to be doing much of the heavy lifting / shepherding of Earl’s through the CB11M hearings), received two interesting campaign contributions when he recently ran for City Council.

One campaign donation to Santos’ campaign was from Michael Cesari, co-owner of Earl’s Beer and Cheese, the other from Adam Clark, FORMER co-owner of Earl’s Beer and Cheese and current co-owner of Suds and Sports, AKA CrossTown Tavern , AKA Guthries, in the same building as Earl’s, at 1259 Park Ave., which, we also pointed out, Earl’s denied acknowledging on their expansion application to the SLA.

(Stay tuned on this issue as Suds and Sports, AKA CrossTown Tavern , AKA Guthries  is trying to expand THEIR interior space right next to Earls. If you are already bothered by their customers smoking, drinking and chattering under your windows on Park Avenue, wait till they triple or quadruple their capacity…)

The bottom line? We scored a small but important victory, their expansion has not been approved, but we still need to keep reaching out to neighbors for their signatures on petitions, letters to the SLA (see below for address/email / fax #s) and we need more email and/or phone contact info from interested neighbors.

IF YOU HAVE READ THIS FAR and haven’t yet signed up to follow this website, please scroll to the top or bottom of this page and please sign up to follow new posts on this website; we will NOT give out your email address to anyone, its only to save us printing postage to keep you informed of issues important to the block.

Likewise for social media: please follow us on twitter at @9798LexPark, (and if you are a Facebook wizard, we need your help ( : >))

If you can be a “point person” in your building and we have not yet spoken or met, PLEASE reach out to us so you can help us help you, help your neighbors, and help the block. For starters,




If you need us to fax for you, call us and we will arrange to fax for you.

Mail to:

NY State Liquor Authority
ATTN: Ms. Cyndee O’Brien
Admin. Aide to the Secretary
80 South Swan Street, Suite 900
Albany, NY  12210

Telephone: 518-474-3114 option 4 – 1
Email: Cynthia.O’

(If you have school-age children and/or seniors with health issues living in an apartment facing these backyards, please contact us before writing to the SLA).

Finally, if  you can, please please click here to donate anything at all, even a few dollars to help us pay for postage and paper and toner. So far, neighbors in two buildings have been kind enough to pay for initial costs to start this up, but to keep going, we need your and your neighbor’s support.

Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

– JF

If you want to maintain some semblance of residential peace and quiet in this neighborhood, please sign up bellow for email alerts on this and other issues relevant for those who live and/or work in or around 97th and 98th Street, Park to Lexington Avenues. (we will NEVER sell or give away your contact info).

URGENT: Wednesday Dec. 10 State Liquor Authority Meeting

Regarding Earl’s Beer and Cheese backyard expansion:

The NY State Liquor Authority will hold a hearing in Harlem, on Wednesday, December 10, on whether to approve or deny a license for Earl’s to put a sixty seat, non-soundproofed beer garden in our backyards.


Date: December 10th, 10 AM.

Location: NY State Liquor Authority’s at 317 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY. (125th Street).

You and all neighbors who oppose a bar in their backyards must show up and explain how and why the expansion will ruin your quality of life, and ask the SLA to deny Earls expansion application unless they fully enclose and soundproof their outdoor bar.]


Subject: New York RW 1270518 – Earls Beer & Cheese LLC

Please be advised that on December 10, 2014 the above referenced alteration application will be before the Members of the Authority for determination.

Meetings of the Members of the Authority are open to the public and you may speak regarding the application.

If you have any supplemental material you wish the Members to review, it must be received in Secretary’s Office no later than noon on December 4, 2014, in order to afford time for the Members to review.  Documents can be sent to the address listed above, emailed to or faxed to 518.402.2304.  Any material received after December 4, 2014 may not be considered, please refrain from bringing new materials to the Members the day of the meeting.

The meeting of December 10, 2014, will be held at the New York State Liquor Authority’s New York City office at 317 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY. 

Video conferencing will also be available at the Alfred E. Smith Building at 80 South Swan Street, Suite 900, Albany, NY and at the Authority’s Buffalo office, Iskalo Electric Tower Building at 535 Washington Street, Suite 303, Buffalo, New York.

You may appear at any of the three locations.  The meeting starts promptly at 10:00 a.m and is also webcast live on the Authority’s website: .

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Secretary’s Office at 518.474.3114.

Cyndee O’Brien

Admin. Aide to the Secretary

80 South Swan Street, Suite 900

Albany, NY  12210

Telephone: 518-474-3114 option 4 – 1

Fascimilie: 518-402-2304

Email: Cynthia.O’


URGENT – CB meeting Wed. 12/3! + SLA letters details

Very Urgent re Earls Beer & Cheese in the backyards:

Dear Neighbor:

The Community Board 11 Licensing Committee meeting is tomorrow night at 6 PM, Wed. Dec. 3, and they have 2 very important items on their agenda, and we need as many neighbors there as possible.


Date: 6 PM, Wed. Dec. 3

Location: Board Office, 1664 Park Avenue, (117th -118th St.)


1. Liquor Licenses

d. Suds & Spirits d/b/a Crosstown Tavern. Application for Alteration of existing OP Full Liquor License at 1259 Park Avenue, North Store, to expand inside premises for more seating.

4. New Business

a. Committee discussion on establishing a review procedures

ii. Liquor Licenses in rear yards and roof tops

Please talk with your neighbors about this and please get to the Community Board tomorrow at 6 PM.

We must attend the above CB meeting tomorrow to oppose the expansion of “Suds” aka The Guthrie Inn, as they will (a) bring crowds of more drunks and smokers outside our front windows on the sidewalks in front of the bar and around the surrounding corners, and (b) they will eventually try to go into the backyards with Earls.

(Hat tip, JS).

We also must demand:

that the Community Board requires and accepts more input from neighbors on applications for backyards.

that the Community Board visit not just the applicants location but visit apartments in every building that face the applicants proposed yards and test for themselves how much can be heard from the yards in the apartments.

that applicants must hire acoustic engineers, and that unless the applications for the expansions show that they are fully sound proofed and fully enclosed, THE APPLICATIONS MUST BE DENIED.

that no Community Board Members may speak on or vote on bar applications if they are customers of that establishment.


Regarding the letters to the (State Liquor Authority) SLA against Earls expansion into the backyards:

If you sent yours already, thank you for the good work. If you haven’t, the deadline is noon Thursday, Dec. 4th.  The contact info is below.


If you need us to fax for you, call us and we will arrange  fax for you.

Notice also below, there WILL be a full SLA hearing for Earls “in front of the Members of the Authority” on Wed., Dec 10, in Harlem.

See next article for more details.


If you have an email address, please write to us so you can be added to our email list. We will not give out your email address to anyone.