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Beer Closet has plans to open bar in backroom of current establishment

Beer Closet

May 19, 2015 By Christian Murray

The Beer Closet, which currently sells an array of different brews as a retailer, has plans to open up its back room and set up a bar.

Mario Cruz, the owner of the 5-37 51st Avenue store, went before a Community Board 2 committee last week seeking a wine and beer license as part of his plan to open a bar that would cater to about 25 patrons.

He initially told the board that he planned to open until 4 am. He also said that he had no intention of using his backyard space.

However, Cruz quickly recognized that his 4 am request was a big ask and then said that 1 am or 2 am would suffice.

However, he received some resistance.

Pat O’Brien, the chairman of the committee that oversees liquor licenses, said that the bar would be located on a narrow residential street and that he had concern for neighbors. The committee agreed with O’Brien and decided that the establishment should have its hours limited to 10 pm during weeknights and 11 pm on weekends.

However, the committee noted that it would review the hours of similar establishments nearby before coming to a final conclusion.

O’Brien said that if the establishment proves itself to be a good operator over time, Cruz could come back and ask to extend the hours.

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Beer Closet

We would like to first thank everyone for the support. Second we here at the Beer Closet believe in working along with our community and are ok with being asked to prove our selves before being granted full requests as we are extremely confident we will do so. We are also open to all and any suggestions as we are young first time business owners and mission is to grow along with our surrounding community. As for the Pabst sign its purpose was to test street noticeability. The shape of the sign itself will remain but instead branding the name of Beer Closet. But honestly along with the opening of the back room, we want and desire to carry as many requested labels our neighbor and residents of Long Island City desire so please if you do not or have not yet stopped in please do so and tell us which brands you desire. Our current customer base already knows we try our best. The mission of the Beer Closet is to become a shop everyone feels is there own. We can only succeed if we provide what you demand as is the reason we have formatted our business plan in this form. Thank you once again.


Don’t worry…your shop is far enough from the Garretts that you should be fine.


Good for them, I like the growler fill up here. They have a decent selection, and I like the idea of supporting local stores.


I won’t look at the sign, because I don’t shop there. Good for you if you think the beer selection is great. In the meantime, I’ll shop at the supermarkets, Brouwerij Lane, Whole Foods Bowery, St Gambrinis, and other bottle shops that seem to know what they are doing. I have made plenty of suggestions before. Instead the shelves are stocked with cases of Pabst. Just seems like a huge disconnect between what the bar is vs what the bar is trying to be. On another note, I hope they do get their backyard, as I hope the 51st Bakery gets theirs as well.

new lic resident

I’ve been to this place several times and have had a good experience every time. Not sure why people are going after the owners.


And Joe, if you don’t like the Pabst sign then don’t look at it. It’s the least of the neighborhood’s problem.


So, they’re sneaky because they decided to open their Backroom and make the business better? Why don’t they deserve to utilize their space and make the money they deserve? The beer selection is great, maybe mention that you won’t other brews and they might extend the curtesy by stocking the shelves with said beer. This community is so odd, let’s complain about new establishments opening and the times they are allowed to be in business but the noise from the construction crews all over the neighborhood and the subways and the loitering that happens all over, but not see the neighborhood draw more and more people that would give back to the economy of LIC. I sick of the community board resisting all of the businesses trying to succeed and make a living, or I should say granting Liquor licenses to businesses that already have a bar/restaurant already in LIC. Seems unfair to me!

Anonymous visitor

WTF? These owners are not trustworthy. They originally said they were just going to have tastings in their shop, and now they are trying to sneak this late-night bar on a quiet block. They don’t deserve approval.


Alewife is open until 1 during the week, and 3 or later on the weekends, so I doubt it will be a problem. Still, this place needs to work on its beer selection. Where is the Maine Brewing Co, Other Half, Mikkeller, Evil Twin, and other beers we can’t get at the already great selection at Urban Market and Food Cellar. To beat those guys and be competitive, they are really going to have to get some harder to find beers and more variety. Also, have some respect and dump that Papst sign.


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