2004-07-23 / Front Page

Living Near Paddy K’s Is Hell: Neighbors

State To Investigate Liquor License
By Brian Magoolaghan

Living Near Paddy K's Is Hell: Neighbors
State To Investigate Liquor License

Paddy K's, located at 375 Beach 92 Street, is drawing the ire of its neighbors. The property owner and proprietor both say complaints may be racially motivated.
Paddy K's, located at 375 Beach 92 Street, is drawing the ire of its neighbors. The property owner and proprietor both say complaints may be racially motivated. When the partying at Paddy K's is over, patrons pour out onto local streets making noise, damaging property, drinking their own alcohol, breaking glass bottles, urinating in alleyways and fighting, say the frustrated folks who live nearby.

One furious neighbor circulated a letter to others this week calling on them to unite and protect their quality of life. "We are all hard working people who are proud of what we have and take care of our homes and our block," reads the unsigned letter, which was circulated after police were called to the McDonald's parking lot where Paddy K's partygoers went out of control early Saturday morning. Witnesses said the officers had their guns drawn as they chased men behind houses on Beach 92 Street.

"The community is being terrorized," said Vincent O'Connor, proprietor of the Denis S. O'Connor Funeral Home located across the street. Revelers from Paddy K's, located at 375 Beach 92 Street, abuse his parking lot leaving behind hours of clean-up work, O'Connor told The Wave. The funeral home has shelled out hundreds of dollars to replace flowers and bushes and uses shovels to clean up the broken glass.

But Captain Paul Piekarski, the Commanding Officer of the 100 Precinct, said Saturday's fracas was an isolated incident that erupted when McDonald's tried to have cars belonging to Paddy K's patrons towed from their lot. "Paddy K's has been good so far this year," Piekarski told The Wave. In separate interviews, both the owner of the property, local attorney Joseph Trainor and the proprietor, Matt Spiewak, say neighbors are unhappy that the clientele at the bar has changed and now includes many minorities. Spiewak adds that what goes on in the street is beyond his control.

Yet neighbor Kevin Boyle and others like him say living near the bar is a nightmare. Boyle detailed sporadic parties held at the bar that draw people who have no consideration for the neighborhood. He's seen cars making doughnut turns in the McDonald's lot and heard "100 [motorcycles] revving up" outside his residence.

Another neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, said the past year has been worse than ever. "They feel they can sit, argue, curse and leave garbage on my steps," she said of Paddy K's patrons. Afraid to confront the unwelcome guests herself, the woman has called police. 911 operators told her it was not an emergency and 311 was slow to produce a response.

Boyle said that when the cops do drive by the patrons correct their behavior for two or three minutes until the officers leave. Piekarski said Saturday's incident has raised the bar's profile and that his executive officer, special operations sergeant and conditions sergeant have been briefed on the neighbor's concerns.

"The gloves are off if anything else happens," Piekarski warned.

Jonathan Gaska, District Manager for Community Board 14, took a harder stance by calling for a review of Paddy K's liquor license.

SLA records show that Patrick Keane is the president of Paddy K's Inc. and is the holder of the liquor license, but Keane said he sold his interest in the bar two years ago. The owner of the property, Trainor, identified Spiewak as the lease and license holder, but SLA spokesperson Mark Andersen said the paperwork Spiewak submitted is insufficient.

The license discrepancy, which was not raised by the community, came to light this week and "may in fact be a violation of state liquor laws," Anderson said. "It's something that is going to have to be investigated by the enforcement bureau," he continued.

Spiewak told The Wave he was unaware of community resentment and any license issues. "I try to run a clean place... I don't want the neighborhood mad at me," said Spiewak who offered to meet with neighbors in an attempt to correct the situation. "We try to do right," he added.

Piekarski and Gaska both suggested a meeting between residents and business owners in the area, but no date had been set at press time.

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