Licensing Commission Reaches Compromise With Bar La Cueva on New Closing Hours

Bar La Cueva on Broadway will be able to stay open a little later, but the Licensing Commission wants to make sure the bar remains a good neighbor in the largely residential district near 802 Broadway.

Prior to the pandemic, the commission rolled back the bar’s closing hours to 11 p.m. due to some complaints and incidents.

Bar La Cueva remained closed during the first year and a half of the pandemic, and opened fulltime for business again in September of 2021.

Attorney Jeffrey Turco, representing the bar, said the owner was seeking a return to a 1 a.m. closing from Thursday to Sunday in an effort to improve business.

“Essentially, he is trying to run a business like this with the hours at 11 o’clock and he runs into a profitability gap,” said Turco.

Police Captain Keith Houghton noted that there have not been issues at the bar since the reopening, and added that the licensing commission has typically agreed to restore hours that have had hours rolled back if they have been in good standing for a period of time.

Houghton did state he believed the 1 a.m. closing on Sundays was too late, and preferred the closing time remain at 11 p.m. on Sundays.

City Council President Roy Avellaneda, speaking on behalf of some of the residents near the bar, said he was opposed to letting Bar LaCueva remain open to 1 a.m.

“Yes, it is on Broadway, but it is on a corner and you have Eleanor Street, which is completely residential, and Clark Avenue which is right there, and even Broadway in that area is primarily residential; it’s not a big commercial zone,” he said.

Eleanor Street resident Sarah Neville read a letter from a neighbor opposing the later hours, and said there were many others in the neighborhood who were also concerned.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people about the bar, and there has immediately been a negative reaction,” she said.

Turco noted that the bar has been a good neighbor since reopening, and if the hours were extended and there were issues, it would be back before the licensing commission to have its hours rolled back again.

“He owns the building and has invested in the building, and since operating fulltime (after the pandemic) he has not had any complaints,” said Turco. “He is committed to make this work.”

The Licensing Commission agreed to extend the closing time to midnight Thursdays through Saturdays, and have the bar back before the commission in six months for a discussion of restoring the hours to 1 a.m. if there are no issues.

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