David Stone
Standing at the speakeasy entrance, family picnic grounds and kids playground park are just a few, unprotected feet away.
Standing at the speakeasy entrance, family picnic grounds and kids playground park are just a few, unprotected feet away.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

In our opinion, it doesn't take a genius to see why the so-called Sanctuary speakeasy and outdoor beer garden should never be allowed to open on Roosevelt Island. If its location only 25 unprotected feet across a fire lane from a community picnic and playground park isn't enough, there's plenty more.

Kids frolic on swings and folks walk their dogs, just across the fire lane from Hudson's speakeasy and outdoor beer garden.
Kids frolic on swings and folks walk their dogs, just across the fire lane from Hudson's speakeasy and outdoor beer garden.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

We can start with the obvious.

The building, which served as a church for over a century, sits in space never contemplated for the future use projected by Hudson-Related. 

A fire lane, the single vehicle access to "The Sanctuary" lacks sufficient lighting, stop signs, sidewalks and lane striping.
A fire lane, the single vehicle access to "The Sanctuary" lacks sufficient lighting, stop signs, sidewalks and lane striping.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Over the weekend, passing the church, I saw a worker exit with two bags of garbage. She placed them in the public container maintained by RIOC. So, the new operators haven't bothered to even set up their own refuse disposal and will rely on taxpayer support instead.

And what if they do get a dumpster? Where will it go? In the fire lane? Their parking area adjacent to the West Promenade? How noisy will it be and at what hours? Who's responsible for the Manhattan-like stink when trash is left for days over weekends, ripening.

How will the stink affect users of the picnic area only recent returned to full availability after an emergency road was built?

Rules are for everyone, even behemoth Hudson-Related

Hudson-Related's stealth tactics in sneaking in a speakeasy and outdoor beer garden while disguising their intentions from locals, never seeking comment, are a big turn off, but consider these...

RIOC appears, so far, unwilling to deal with the permits and licensing issues nor to bring in NYPD to do it for them. Residents' best opportunity for success may be The Sanctuary's appearance before CB8's Street Life Committee on October 10th. They'll be asking for approval to get a State liquor license. 

The future public urination station for "The Sanctuary" is perfectly located across from the parking lot. No lights and the East River for a flush.
The future public urination station for "The Sanctuary" is perfectly located across from the parking lot. No lights and the East River for a flush.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

In our opinion, they should be stopped.