Inexplicably, the State Liquor Authority has failed to make a decision on the application of Sin-é for a full liquor license. Months ago, SLA had decided in favor of the license. However, a lawsuit brought by local community activists, "The Friends of the Northside," found that the SLA had denied the Friends of the Northside due process and ordered the SLA to reconsider the application.
Considering that the case was decided on very technical procedural (as opposed to subtantive) grounds, one would have expected SLA to expeditiously repeat the approval process and make a quick decision in favor of Sin-é. As last month's update noted, Friends of the Northside really didn't have any new evidence to present that could indicate that Sin-é was shouldn't be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages.
The SLA was to hand down its decision February 21st. A few days before then it sent word that it would need another week to consider the matter. Six days later SLA informed Sin-é and Friends of the Northside that it was not prepared to render a decision. Oddly, it has failed to inform either side as to when it will make its judgment.
Meanwhile, Sin-é struggles to stay in business. It invested an enormous amount of money in renovating the N. 8th Street digs, turning a crusty old industrial site into a cozy, appealing venue for musicians and artists. Unable to sell beer, wine or spirits, Sin-é earns its revenues on sales of coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages, along with sandwiches and the low admission (usually $5) that they charge those who attend their music and improvisational performances. Customers jonse-ing for alcohol are directed to the neighboring Brooklyn Ale House (corner of Berry and N. 8th) where they can drink up before entering Sin-é to see the shows.
(Opinions expressed in Free Williamsburg editorials are not necessarily endorsed by our organization. But then again maybe they are. We are all freelancers godammit!)
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