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’Brien@sla.ny.gov

(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 Secretarys.Office@sla.ny.gov 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: www.sla.ny.gov .

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’Brien@sla.ny.gov


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.

10/21/14 Full CB 11 Meeting Recap


There was a vote at the Community Board 11 meeting tonight. At the very end of the evening, after almost everyone went home…

I will get some experts to explain the vote tomorrow…

MAJOR LEAGUE pats on the back to all those who designed, mailed and put out fliers, made calls, came to the CB meetings, and of course, thank you to our stalwart Ken D and spokesman Ken F.

WE ARE NOT DONE ON THIS ISSUE, and there are other projects to work on. One comment I will pass on is “those people at 9798 Lex Park sure are committed!”

Speaking of commitment…

Yesterday I sent an email out about classes being offered by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. I am taking the Land Use 101 / intro zoning class starting tomorrow.

I highly encourage you to peruse the classes and take one or more. You don’t have to become a member of the CB to take them, (it is required if you want to get on the CB….). But it will help you to become a more informed citizen.

PS –  The monthly 23rd Precinct Community Council meeting is Wednesday, October 22nd at 6 pm at the 23rd Precinct, 164 E. 102 Street (between Lexington and Third).

(If you go, either take a cab, or I suggest walking up and down Third Avenue., it’s less of a hill than on Lexington).


URGENT! CHANGED LOCATION for the Community Board 11 Meeting, Tues., Oct. 21, 6:30 PM

(See below for link to entire revised flier)
Excerpt of latest 10/19 flyer (click image for full PDF).

If you received our flier in the mail or under your door in the last few days, PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A NEW CHANGE OF ADDRESS for the Tuesday, Oct. 21st, 6:30 PM  Community Board 11. It’s actually closer to the neighborhood at:

Mount Sinai Medical Center
Goldwurm Auditorium
1425 Madison Avenue
at 98th Street

This is a direct link to the updated flyer with the above correct address AND CONTACT INFO FOR LOCAL POLITICIANS; please print and email and distribute widely (and contact those local politicians: THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU (click here for contact info).

As the CB occasionally changes the location, agenda order and speaking rules, please check back to this page frequently, or better yet, “follow us” and/or email us to sign for updates and we will keep you informed with the latest info, including info on registering to speak in opposition to Earl’s Beer & Cheese’s expansion into three backyards with a sixty seat beer garden….

Old Business/New Business

i. Earl’s Beer & Cheese LLC d/b/a Earl’s Beer & Cheese – Alteration Application for existing Wine and Beer License at 1259 Park Avenue to include basement and open backyard beer garden space

Above shows buildings will be affected by noisy drunks, kitchen odors, and cigarettes from Earl’s Beer & Cheese putting a SIXTY SEAT BEER GARDEN into THREE backyards at 1257-1261 Park Ave. (97th & 98th). (click image to enlarge).
REMEMBER: once this bar expands, others will follow, turning the neighborhood into a hive of beer joints, raising storefront rents, & driving out non-alcohol based businesses.

Please also mark your calendar for Wednesday, November 5th (6 pm) as that will be the next meeting of the CB11 Licensing Committee meeting; depending on what happens tomorrow night,  might come up in front of that committee again.

Please reach out to us (a) and tell us that you can attend tomorrow night, if you wish to walk with your neighbors to the Community Board meeting, and (b) please also get back to us with your email and/or phone info, (if you have not done so already), so we can stay in touch and get you more info as it comes in.

After Action / Situation Report On The Recent Community Board 11 Meeting.

(Some of you may have received part of this by email; if you are not on our email list, be sure and contact us with your email and / telephone number below).

Last Wed. evening, Oct. 1, almost 2 dozen members of 97-98 Lexington and Park Ave. Neighbors presented their united opposition to Earl’s plans to expand into THREE backyards, faced by hundreds of apartments.

Bringing over 110 signatures gathered in the previous weeks, and after a few very smooth, (and some raucous) comments from our crowd, the CB 11 License Committee took a vote: the only motion made was to deny the bar’s application for expansion, and the motion failed:

Y 4
A 3
N 3

More importantly, no vote was taken to approve Earl’s application…

…According to multiple staffers from multiple local politicians office, we  did a lot of things right:

We got the signatures, brought the neighbors, and made and sent important calls and emails. But we’re not done. There will be more Community Board Meetings in the next few weeks and months, and we must stay focussed, and get more organized.

If you are willing to continue our fight to keep a 60 seat BEER GARDEN out of those backyards, ruining both our homes and leading to further BAR-barism of the neighborhood (and/or if you have other ideas for our block association to focus on), please let us know ASAP if you can make a 97-98 Lexington and Park Ave. Neighbors meeting set tentatively for this coming Tuesday evening, Oct. 7th at 7 PM.

This will be our intro planning meeting, both for how / where to take 97-98 Lex Park Neighbors, as well as where we stand / how are we going further re Earls.

The tentative current location is on the 97-98 Lex/Park block, but we need to know how many are coming; if you haven’t yet RSVP’d and especially if we don’t have your email and /or tel. number, please contact us below.





It’s confirmed that Earl’s is going for a capacity of SIXTY OUTDOOR CUSTOMERS stretched across THREE BACKYARDS, 1257, 1259 and 1261 Park Ave. (those neighbors who you spoke with who said “only a few people, no big deal”, get back to them now!)

See below after the pic for what else YOU can do today to help stop SIXTY hard drinking, chattering Earl’s customers from hanging outside THREE BUILDINGS’ WORTH OF BACKYARDS / outside your rear windows (and smoking outside your front windows) all hours of the day and night.


Click on image above to enlarge: see which buildings will be affected by noisy drunks,kitchen odors, and cigarettes from Earl’s Beer and Cheese expanding in the backyard at 1259 Park Ave. (97th & 98th).

A/ If you are holding signed, hard copy petition pages with 1 or more signatures,  PLEASE either scan and email them to us, or fax them to us,  or reach out to us TODAY ASAP to meet so we can pick them up and make copies.

You can fax them to (877) 900-2360, email them to 9798lexpark@gmail.com or arrange pickup by phone at 929-286-1913.

B/ If you can and have not yet done so, please also SIGN ONLINE.

C/ If you are home today, please print our revised flyer and give it to your neighbors who haven’t signed, and hand it to people in the street.

D/ Before you come to the Community Board 11 Meeting tonight, WEDNESDAY, October 1, at 6 PM, please take a few moments and…

E/ Call or go online to 311 today (you can do it anonymously) and file, crowds, noise and/or cigarette nuisance complaints, and add to the complaints already filed over non-permitted renovations in the backyard.

F/ Email our local elected officials, including the Community Board, and politely clue them in on why Earl’s expansion should be opposed.

G/ Try and come early to the Community Board 11 Meeting, tonight at 6 PM. It’s a small space…. Some neighbors may be meeting at the NE corner of  98th and Park at 5:30 PM to share car service or a taxi.

And finally, check this for some inspiration….

See you tonight!