Community Board Approves Liquor Permit For Gracias Mama; Distance From Church Still An Issue

162 East Broadway.
162 East Broadway.

On Tuesday evening, Community Board 3 voted to support a liquor license for Gracias Mama, a Mexican taqueria at 162 East Broadway.

But in a resolution approved 29-11 (with 3 abstentions), the board asked the State Liquor Authority to review whether the establishment is subject to the 200 Foot Rule. That’s a provision in state law that prohibits liquor licenses located “on the same street and within 200 feet” of a school or church. St. Teresa’s Church is located at 16-18 Rutgers St., one block away from the proposed restaurant.

Nima Garos (of the Little Italy spot Gelso & Grand) and Koorosh Bakhtiar had won the support of the SPaCE Block Association, which negotiated reduced operating hours for the business (midnight weeknights, 1 a.m. weekends). But members of other block associations opposed the application. They are distressed by the proliferation of permits in the immediate area. Some people have also lamented the displacement (or at least the perceived displacement) of a Chinese bakery and newsstand ensconced on this corner for many years.

The applicants said they hired a surveyor, who concluded that the distance (door to door) between the church and the restaurant is 214 feet. Many neighbors disagree. It will now be up to the State Liquor Authority to decide. A lot will depend whether officials measure from the front door of the church at 16 Rutgers St., or from the handicap-access ramp, which is several feet closer to the restaurant.

You can see our previous coverage of this story here and here.

st teresas/google map
Google map; St. Teresa’s Church is on the left side of this image, while the restaurant is located on the corner, accross East Broadway.