Volume 75, Number 17 | September 14 - 20, 2005

McKenna’s gets license renewal; nuns are mum on how they sided

By Albert Amateau

McKenna’s Bar at 245 W. 14th St. received its liquor license renewal from the State Liquor Authority on Aug. 1, despite questions that Community Board 4 raised about the bar’s illegally serving drinks through the front window to patrons on the sidewalk.

The board sent a letter to the S.L.A. after the fact on Sept. 7 complaining that the board had not been notified of the license renewal until July 18, “just 12 days before expiration of the license.”

The board’s letter characterized McKenna’s as “a nuisance to the neighborhood” and said, “neighbors report that patrons regularly consume alcohol outside the establishment by passing drinks through the large front window.” The board said it wanted, “stronger enforcement and an end to this behavior, which adds to the quality-of-life woes for those who live on the block.”

Brian McKenna, owner of the bar, said last week that he did not know anything about drinking outside the establishment and claimed that the Carmelite Sisters residence two doors away at 239 W. 14th St. supported his license renewal application.

However, Sister Angela, superior of the residence, declined in a Sept. 12 telephone interview to comment on whether the sisters had supported McKenna’s application.

Stanley Bulbach, president of the W. 15 St. Block Association, said he had received a message from an S.L.A. investigator who reported that an agency inspector had not been able to corroborate a complaint about drinks on the sidewalk. Bulbach said the investigator had noted that the agency did not have enough staff to respond to such complaints immediately.

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