Brooklyn Heights

Don’t give Brooklyn Heights Taco Bell a liquor license, CB2 urges

February 26, 2019 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Booze, booze, booze: You can order your slushies with or without liquor at Taco Bell Cantina in Flatbush. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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Community Board 2 definitively decided to tell the New York State Liquor Authority not to grant Taco Bell a liquor license for 58 Court St. on the grounds that it would encourage late-night noise and underage drinking.

On Monday night, the board’s Executive Committee voted unanimously to disapprove the fast-food chain’s application for a license to sell beer, wine and liquor at the Taco Bell Cantina it plans to construct at its Brooklyn Heights location.

Booze-laced slushies are a highlight of the drinks menu at the already open Taco Bell Cantina at 1034 Flatbush Ave. across from Kings Theatre. There is also a cantina at 1359 Broadway in Bushwick.

The Executive Committee is the community board’s final decision-maker as far as liquor licenses are concerned. It will convey its thumbs-down recommendation to the state agency.

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Community boards play advisory roles in regulatory matters.

In its vote, the Executive Committee affirmed the judgment of CB2’s Health, Environment and Social Services Committee, which had voted to disapprove the liquor license application earlier this month.

Objections voiced by CB2’s members at Monday night’s meeting included the fact that Taco Bell wanted to keep the cantina open until 3 a.m. on weekends and the suspicion that there’s “a propensity for underage drinking at Taco Bell.”

The storefront at right is 58 Court St., where Taco Bell wants to build a cantina.
The storefront at right is 58 Court St., where Taco Bell wants to build a cantina.

‘Double the noise, double the nuisance’

The Taco Bell Cantina site is located in a residential condo building with ground-floor commercial spaces, 60 Court St.

There’s already a sports bar — O’Keefe’s Bar & Grill — located in the building, Sixty Court Condominium board member Tom Predhome said at Monday night’s meeting prior to the Executive Committee’s vote.

Residents of Sixty Court Condominium think that also having a liquor-selling Taco Bell in the building would mean “double the noise, double the nuisance,” Predhome said.

Taco Bell didn’t send a rep to Monday night’s meeting. A company spokesperson didn’t immediately answer the Brooklyn Eagle’s request for comment.

The space where Taco Bell wants to construct a cantina was formerly occupied by General Nutrition Center, which sells vitamins, supplements and other health products.

As Eater New York reported in 2017, Taco Bell is expanding nationwide in cities. Its traditional stronghold is the suburbs, where it builds restaurants with drive-through service.

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