Community leaders and residents have voiced concerns about the LIC-based company's plans to build a beach-themed urban beer garden including noise, litter and traffic.
Rockaway Brewing Company plans to transform an empty lot in Ridgewood into La Play, a 5,000 square-foot urban beer garden, with a seaside twist.
"We plan to bring in sand, and beach chairs and umbrellas and hopefully barbecues," said Marcus Burnett, Co-founder, Rockaway Brewing Company. "When I first envisioned this project I thought wow this is going to be great for the neighborhood."
But the Long Island City company says not all residents are on-board the idea.
The Woodward Avenue beer garden was supposed to open on June 4 but some critics have slowed the process. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan wrote a letter to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of residents concerned about traffic, litter and other issues.
"The biggest reason is the potential for noise," said Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5. "We received two petitions each having 25 signatures."
"When you bring something like that into the neighborhood, you risk displacing people who have been here for generations," said Henry MacConnel.
But Burnett says his goal is to build a community-friendly venue.
"The establishment is not what I would call a bar, it actually is considered to be a tasting room," he said.
He says he'll add extra garbage receptacles, and on weekdays he’ll turn off the music by 10 p.m.
While critics started a petition opposing the beer garden, residents who support the idea say the garden could breathe new life into the neighborhood.
"It's a great area. They're turning this area into great things like that, I think that would be a plus," said Patricia Alcamo.
"It's quiet here so a little excitement would bring a little something to the neighborhood," said Hilda Cortes.
"We are not here to create a rowdy bar scene we are here to sample New York State farm products," said Burnett.
Giordano says The State Liquor Authority will hold a hearing about the beer garden later this month. Burnett says he'll attend a Community Board 5 meeting next week to address residents’ concerns and hopefully open La Playa by end of June.