Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Drink Up

PLAINFIELD - PUBLIC HEARING (6/27/05) - It'll be business as usual for all 35 holders of Plainfield liquor licenses. That's the result of the June 27th public hearing on license renewals. Those whose paperwork is in disarray or who have charges pending will be able to go to Trenton and get temporary licenses.

Nevertheless, attorney Frank Capece, who was hired to work on liquor license matters, promised more hearings that could lead to suspensions or denials. Even the North Avenue bar, La Bamba, that Capece vigorously attacked in a hearing several weeks ago, will be open pending an appeal to the Office of Administrative Law.

Only two residents spoke at the June 27 hearing.

Sheldon Green complained that people buy liquor at JFT Liquors on Grant Avenue, then drink outside and urinate in public. Green said his nearby recycling bin was filled with bottles left by the al fresco drinkers. He said the assumption is that people buy liquor and then take it home to consume “in the comfort of their living rooms,“ but that’s not what happens at JFT.

Nancy Piwowar said a liquor store at Clinton and Front also holds a flea market, allows truck parking and sells used cars on the premises.

Police Captain Anthony Celentano said drug activity at both locations had been investigated, but until Green raised the question, he had no reports of drinking in public at JFT. At Clinton and Front, he said, police also investigated allegations of prostitution.

City Council President Linda Carter asked for more frequent police reports on liquor establishments so the council can make informed decisions in its role as the local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Plainfield's liquor license holders include five social clubs, 14 bars and 14 stores, and two inactive bar licenses.

--Bernice Paglia

KEYWORDS: Liquor licenses, public hearing


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