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LIC Flea market seeks liquor licenses, needs them to remain viable, executive says

LIC Flea

LIC Flea

March 20, 2014 By Christian Murray

The operators of the LIC Flea & Food are applying for two liquor licenses– which they say are needed to keep the market viable.

Executives for the LIC Flea & Food market told Community Board 2 last night that they want to cordon off a section of the parking lot at their 46th Avenue and 5th Street location for the purposes of selling liquor. They also want a license to sell liquor from an old ferry that is adjacent to that parking lot at Anable Basin.

Andrew Kirby, president of Plaxall, the company that owns the 24,000 sqf. lot and is a LIC Flea partner, said these licenses were important to the success of the market. Kirby spoke on behalf of Joshua Schneps, the founder, who was on vacation.

“They [the vendors] are telling us they are not getting enough business, and that people who buy a $13 lobster roll want to be able to buy a glass of beer,” Kirby said.

“A lot of these vendors were out summer weekends not selling anything,” Kirby said, adding that, “We may not be able to keep the flea market going if we can’t attract these vendors back… and to do that we need things like this.” He said that there is the “time clock” and that they need to get going with it.

However, the community board had a number of concerns about the licenses—such as the LIC Flea’s close proximity to the PS/IS 78Q, the lack of experience of the operators in running licensed establishments as well as noise and traffic concerns.

Patrick O’Brien, who is the head of the committee that oversees liquor licenses, said that the board was not willing to address the ferry application at this time. “It [the ferry] is in a state of rust and dilapidation and I am assuming there is a lot of work to be done,” he said. Once the plans have become more concrete, he said, then the board will review it.

The operators of the Flea market didn’t dispute that and focused on the application for a license on a portion of the lot. The license would only be for the spring/summer season and the operators pledged that they would only serve alcohol on Saturdays and Sunday when the market was open.

Kathleen Negri Stathopoulos, an attorney representing LIC Flea, said that her clients might just seek a beer and wine license (instead of a full license)–conceding the fact that the school is across the street.

The bar section would cater to as many as 60 people—on a lot that can handle 600 people at its peak.

Stathopoulos said that the license her client seeks is different that most—since it doesn’t deal with a fixed premise, such as a restaurant. She said she is required to send a proposal to Albany and she wants to be able to state that the community board has provided feedback on it.

But O’Brien said that it was premature to say that the community board had provided feedback since it didn’t really know the plans.

“We don’t know where in the lot the bar [area] is going to be,” he said. “We don’t where the entrances are –the dimensions,” he said.

“The law says the center of your entrance to the center of the school entrance has to be 200 ft or more away,” O’Brien said. “You have 210 feet. We need it clarified.”

O’Brien also said that people have lodged complaints stemming from the market. He said some people have complained about there being a lot of noise–while others have expressed concern about pedestrian and automobile traffic, as well as double parking. He said these issues have to be discussed.

O’Brien said he wanted to know whether the operators had a history of running a licensed premise—especially since the flea market caters to large crowds. While Stathopoulos said Schneps and his management team did not, Kirby said Plaxall runs hotels.

The board did not render any sort of decision last night and invited LIC Flea to come to its next committee meeting April 9.  Vicki Schneps, the publisher of the Queens Courier and the mother of Joshua Schneps, said the Flea is scheduled to reopen for the year on April 5.

“ I would pray and hope that you can do this in a timely fashion,” she said.

The board said that LIC Flea can work with the board on its proposal prior to the April 9 meeting.

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38 Comments

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Anonymous

I don’t mind the market, but living just across the street from it I don’t appreciate the constant all day music and banging in the background. And this is all the time each weekend. To be honest, it is too shitty of a market to bring quality traffic to LIC. There are plenty of other places along the east river to grab a beer, to justify the need for liquor license for this venue. This a family area and the last think we need is the “tipsy” crowds on the weekend. I trust that people are smart and won’t waste time on a sad low quality place like this flea market. Oh, and the live entertainment, please no, thank you…it sounds worse than a bunch of angry cats fighting in heat season.

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looking forward to the flea

I, for one, am looking forward to the flea and selling beer or wine will be a plus. Many times i have taken the ferry to brooklyn but now will be able to jump on my bike to hit this flea market. It is local and non-multinationalcorporate. Love it!!!

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Gregor

Damn straight. I paid $280,000 for a building only 10 years ago. It’s currently listed for 1.75 million. So long, Suckas!

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Anonymous

Im not sure what youre talking about – i should teach my children how to stay away from people who like nice things – who like to live in a nice neighborhood – who dont like to be constrained my some BS community board – who dont like to be told they cant have a beer or a glass of wine when they feel like it because someone else in the community thinks they might laugh to loud?
Seriously Im not understanding where youre going with any of this. From what i can tell…..You seem to be upset at the fact that people are moving into your neighborhood and making it “less cool?” is that it? is this some deep rooted issue?
It seems that you dislike anything thats happening in LIC now — anyone that has an opinion must be new here – and therefore, a loser? a yuppie? Maybe you didnt get enough love as a kid — im sure youll move to a newer, more cool neighborhood soon anyway. LIC is for the birds.
We will all be better off without cool people like you judging everyone.

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Gregor

So, what I said was that there is nothing you can do about it. Accept it. The yuppies are going to take over. Give them a wide berth.They will win. What’s unclear about that? As for how to teach your kids to avoid these types…I can tell by your sarcasm that it is far too late for that.
Enjoy pioneering your new playland, yupsters!

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Anonymous

Woooop Wooooop!!!!
Doreen joins the party!!!
We have noooooooo clue?!?!?!?
Yes- you are correct, we have no clue as to why people like you think that just because an establishment gets a liquor license, the world is going to end.
But – you must be right – you’ve lived here longer.
Appreciate you looking out for everyone.

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LIC Res

Are there are more options besides yes/no alcohol license?

Could a per-customer drink limit be stipulated in the license? Or perhaps a probationary period after which he license can be revoked if the operators cannot control crowd noise?

Surely there is a workable compromise.

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Anonymous

Gregor my man you’re all over the place. Please, as a native Queen man, I need a heads-up on whom to fear. Apparently its ”hipsters,” “yuppies,” and the “bourgeoise.” So we’re clear, please define these nasty groups so I can teach my daughter to avoid them.

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Doreen

Here we go again. Blame the old time residents. That is sooooooo played out.

You have no clue.

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Anonymous

Thankfully we got another person to contribute productively to this conversation……a big thank you to Gregor.
I can only imagine how cool you are and how much fun LIC was before everyone started moving in and ruining your neighborhood.
You should just not leave your apartment — for fear of having to see multitudes of people walking down the block … They might have food or beer or clothing from the new clothing store or anything else that pisses you off about LIC today.
You must make your own clothing and grow your own food in the backyard – it was probably better when there wasn’t a big new supermarket in LIC … Right? That just killed the vibe you had here.

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Gregor

Yuppies and hipsters can’t do anything without booze. They can’t shop, eat, play, parent, go to a park, enjoy some culture or entertainment, or do anything without alcohol. It is the yuppie’s birthright to drink while they do everything. Lame and pathetic, yes. It’s what you’re going to get when the bourgeoise move in. This is all we have seen in Williamsburg for the past 10 years,and now it’s your turn. LIC Flea is just trying to keep up with the Joneses aka the Brooklyn Flea. Best to just ignore them and let them play make believe New Yorkers with suburban sensibilities. They aren’t going anywhere soon,so just try to give them a wide berth, as obnoxious as yuppies and hipsters are.

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Joe Moretti

What does cleaning up Jamaica have to do with the flea?

It has nothing to do with this, I am just weighing my viewpoint on this issue since I lived a long time in Long Island City. Who even said anything about cleaning up Jamaica, you brought that up, not me.

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Delicious beer

“…some “whine” with that lobster roll.” I see what you did there. Comedy gold!

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LIC Resident2

This Community Board has shown time and time again they care nothing for small business. The Chairs of the committees care more about their own connections and powers they have gotten from the CB. Why are there no term limits? Almost all Boards in Manhattan have term limits, especially for the chairs of the committees, why doesn’t ours? I am left to assume its because they are dirty…

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Joe Moretti

I lived in LIC for 15 years before the “over-development” and after. First the 7 train was always an issue way back then, so it is not like a new issue and before anyone moved there they should have found that out.

If the decision for a flea market to make it is if it serves beer, then there si something really wrong with the flea market because the success of a flea market is not based on alcoholic beverages, but maybe you all would like some “whine” with that lobster roll.

Sorry this topic is still frivolous. But this is the new LIC.

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LIC Dude

Let them have the license for God’s sake!

We have horrible #7 train which our ‘leaders’ can’t do anything about.

We don’t have the waterfront library for some stupid amount of reasons, which our ‘leaders’ can’t do anything about.

What they *can* do something about is helping our local establishments to prosper. So that’s what they should do!!!

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Delicious beer

I had to go growlers all last summer at the flea. Delicious!

Sorry if it bothered you.

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Anonymous

Yes to the prior comment. Indeed, you can bring your beer from there to the flea, as I’ve done many times. And guess what? The world didn’t collapse and the flea market was undisturbed.

Reply
Ro

What does cleaning up Jamaica have to do with the flea? Are you saying that until Jamaica is clean everything else is frivolous? This is like saying I will not spend one dollar on unnecessary things (movies, ice cream, beer, etc.) until world hunger is eradicated.

The flea is a great activity that many LIC families enjoy so making it more viable for the vendors only benefits the community. It seems to me that CB2 is always looking for ways to make it more difficult for small businesses to prosper. I am confused because our elected politicians are always talking of how they want to help small business succeed but they turn around and appoint these board members that do the opposite.

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LIC Res

Must figure out a way to include cheaper food vendors as part of their plan for viability. Catering to an upscale crowd may have a bigger potential financial upside, but how many of those people are ikely to want to spend their Saturday relaxing in a parking lot?

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Anonymous

Thanks for letting us know where you stand — if YOU dont feel they need to have beer at the Flea — everyone should think that way.
Obviously there are going to be many people who go to the flea and dont drink – or eat – or by knickknacks. Having said that, there are people who wouldnt mind having a lobster roll and a beer….and im sure they can do it quietly and without causing a commotion.

Your post in pointless – if you dont like the food or the knickknacks..dont go to the flea. Do you just walk around telling all the vendors trying to make a living that their items suck? that theyre too expensive? sound like a load of fun.

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Joe Moretti

It is a FLEA MARKET, not a nightclub. I eat lobsters rolls and I don’t feel the need to have beer with it, especially if I am at a flea market, plus I would not pay $13 for a lobster roll at a flea market.

This is just stupid BS. I guess this is the big concerns of living in LIC, “WHAT, no beer with that overpriced lobster roll, while I look for a $1 piece of crap knickknack. The quality of life in LIC sucks.”

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NotSoAnonymous

Not defending the Community because I think they suck big time, but they were right in not recommending a license at this time. The applicant came to the meeting without a definate plan, requesting the Board blindly approve their application. Their lawyer should know better. They were definately foolish to think the Board should comply. The liquor authority is very strict in as much as not only the number of chairs but the placement of the chairs must be precise. Photos are required for everything and everything in its place.

i.e. They said the entrance to flea market may need to be relocated to allow for proper space from the school, however, they did not present the plans showing this, etc. etc. It’s not the Board’s rule, it’s NYS rule.

FYI, a liq. lic. can be obtained for 2 hrs. to 2 yrs.

I am definately not a fan of our Community Bd. leaders, however, in this instance I think they were right on target, and I am shocked at Plaxall for not being better prepared.

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LT

I don’t want to be like brooklyn–i’m saying that we as a community need to support this local flea and the businesses that attend every weekend.

my point is why does the brooklyn flea doe so well attracting visitors and the LIC flea may fail. it sucks–i love flea markets, and the goods and food they offer.

i think it’s a great asset to the community and a fun thing to do in warm weather.

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LIC Resident2

@Anonymous – That is incorrect. There are special liquor licenses you can get for temporary situations. They usually last a month at a time.

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Anonymous

I don’t know about the noise from the flea ,I understand the traffic problem since i have seen cars double parked. Also a Liquor License is not given just for weekends, its given for a two year period, also Patrick might want to sharpen up on his SLA laws and notice that in the recent years they have stated a 500′ rule for schools and houses of worship.

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LIC Resident2

@Anonymous
Totally agree. Pat O’Brien has done nothing but make it harder for Long Island City to thrive. He does whatever he can to stop growth under the guise of “disturbance” when there usually isn’t any. What does the proximity to the school have to do with it when we’re talking about weekends?
Long Island City businesses are hurting enough as it is, why make it harder?
And at @me Above- Its not about trying to be like Brooklyn and you know that. Its about seeing a business model that had success in Brooklyn and saying we can do a DIFFERENT version here. This is about making the area successful, and if there is something that works somewhere else, it makes sense to try your own version. That’s how business works. Grow up.

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Anonymous

These people are clowns.
“People have lodged complaints stemming from the market”…Due to noise???….wtf?
Concerns for a license because of the proximity to the school?….wtf?

Honestly — this is a flea market that brings people out to LIC on great spring, summer and fall days. What harm is there in that? …Noise??? Heaven forbid there is noise in the afternoon on a weekend…these people are nuts. And its in a location that isnt filled with residential units.

proximity to a school??? its a weekend!
what about Vernon Blvd? isnt that close to the school?? better close all those places serving alcohol.

Serving alochol will – in no way- harm anyone — people dont go to the flea to get drunk…they go there to hangout, walk around, get something to eat…and sometimes, with the food they eat, they want a drink.

lighten up people.
I think the idea of having the old ferry sell alcohol would be great…a different idea that would intrigue people…and perhaps they can come to LIC and spend some money.
Cheers.

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LT

we need this to thrive! look at the brooklyn flea–why is it so successful? we can have that same success in LIC.

Reply

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