Residents who fear that a new bistro on the eastern edge of Manhattan Beach will bring rowdiness and drunk driving to the quiet enclave are rallying to make sure the new business doesn’t get a liquor license — even before its owner applies for one.
Last week, members of the Manhattan Beach Community Group demanded that booze be barred at a planned Oxford Street restaurant out of fear that allowing the hard stuff would create a Vietnam-era domino effect in the area, introducing liquor sales to the otherwise dry neck of the woods.
None of the storefronts on the strip between Oriental and Shore boulevards — including a pizzeria, Chinese takeout and a deli — presently sell booze, and that’s the way residents like it.
“Giving this place a liquor license would set a dangerous precedent for Manhattan Beach,” said Sue Yellin, who lives down the block from the planned eatery.
In fact, the owner of Pizzeria Boulevard said he’d want to sell alcohol to compete with a bar.
“If [the new restaurant] gets a license, I’d probably apply,” said Sal Taormina.
Property owner Roman Midyany, who could not be reached for comment, began converting a commercially zoned home between Oriental and Shore boulevards into a two-story eatery last year, and he has yet to apply for a liquor license, according to state records.
Manhattan Beach is home to four liquor-serving establishments, but those are located on the more bustling western edge of the neighborhood.
Residents say that on the eastern edge — which is more than a mile from the B and Q subway station on Brighton Beach Avenue — drunk driving would be more likely to occur if booze is available.
“Many people may drive there,” said Community Group traffic committee czar Judy Baron. “And the customers may get tipsy, drive down Oriental Boulevard and cause accidents.”
Traffic accidents are Manhattan Beach buzzwords, as community activists have been pushing for street safety measures ever since 4-year-old Evan Svirsky was struck and killed by a bus on Oriental Boulevard in October.
Manhattan Beach residents aren’t the only folks bashing bars in recent months. Across the bay, residents at an Emmons Avenue nursing home lashed out against a noisy rooftop bar, while those living near Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay are trying to block a nightclub from reopening.