During a discussion over renewing a liquor license for Blueprint, it was noted by Permits and Licenses Committee chairman Gary Reilly that it has become common practice in recent years to require outdoor areas stop operating at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends.
However, Blueprint, located at 196 Fifth Avenue between Union and Berkeley streets, was initially granted a liquor license before CB6 began the practice.
At the committee hearing on the license renewal, Reilly said the owner was not willing to abide by the new rules, and said it planned to continue its current practice of closing the outdoor patio at midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Reilly told the board that the committee voted 10-6 in favor of the license renewal “after lengthy discussion.”
There were three complaints filed against Blueprint in recent years. According to Reilly, all three complaints came from one apartment and did not sway the committee's vote.
Sayar Lonial, chair of the Public Safety Committee, said that it is important to consider Blueprint's history in the neighborhood.
“They have demonstrated themselves to be an active participant and an economic developer for the neighborhood,” said Lonial. “They’ve been there for a long time, and the longevity to me means that they are allowed to maintain themselves rather than hurting their business which is what, in essence, we would be doing by prescribing them terms that did not apply to them the previous 12 years.”
One board member who voted against the renewal in the committee meeting said he doesn’t believe the applicant is undeserving of the license, he just fears double standards.
“No matter how they get to us, they ought to abide by the hours of operations that are standard to the committee and not make an exception,” he said.
Chairman Daniel Kummer said there is one major downfall with allowing Blue Print to operate an outdoor facility two hours later than any other establishment in the area.
“It gives [Blueprint] an advantage over their nearby competitors,” he said.
In the end, CB6 voted to conditionally approve the renewal of the liquor license for Blueprint.