Bar owner gets lecture from VGN trustees

Bar owner gets lecture from VGN trustees

The Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees had some spirited criticism in store for Baker Hill Tavern owner Ken Telvi at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Trustees laid out a series of complaints from neighbors, including noise, littering and public urination on the part of bar patrons, and asked Telvi to address the problems as he petitioned for an extension of his bar’s liquor license.

“We had some problems with the bar and quality-of-life issues in and around its neighborhood,” said Trustee Barton Sobel, who lives adjacent to Baker Hill Tavern. “There is no concern for the neighbor who lives maybe 10, 15 yards away.”

Telvi’s attorney Jack Shields said Telvi could not control the actions of patrons outside the bar, which according to several online reviews is a hangout for midshipmen at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. 

But Shields said Telvi would work hard to fix the problems he could, which included patrons congregating in the bar’s back area, making noise and, according to Sobel, throwing bottles into neighbors’ lawns.

“He understands and he will make every effort to address the concerns,” Shields said.

Telvi said he has a clean disciplinary record with the village, but acknowledged there had been recent issues.

“I try as hard as I can to keep my patrons under control,” Telvi said. “I could do a better job at it.”

Telvi’s hearing culminated in negotiations with the board as to what measures he would commit to before the board approved the liquor license extension.

Village Attorney Stephen Limmer told Telvi that should violations persist, he could be subject to the village’s recently passed law allowing the revocation of permits for businesses that flout village code or permit conditions.

Deputy Mayor Mitchell Beckerman said the board did not wish to shut down the tavern, but that Telvi had to take stronger measures to control his customers.

“It’s something that’s called being a good neighbor,” Beckerman said.

Trustees asked Telvi to commit to a series of measures, including hiring extra staff, placing four security cameras on the premises and ensuring that the back door stay closed.

Telvi said he could not afford to hire more employees, but agreed to hang a sign prohibiting non-emergency use of the back door and install two security cameras. He also rejected a suggestion that he consider closing the bar early, saying that he would not ask customers to leave ahead of the regular closing hours.

The board approved the license, keeping one of Great Neck’s last remaining watering holes in business, but under heightened village scrutiny.

Also at the meeting, Kreitzman said Nassau County Police had asked him to inform the community of a recent string of break-ins in Great Neck.

There have been eight or nine break-ins in Great Neck, Great Neck Gardens, Russell Gardens and University Gardens in recent weeks, according to Kreitzman and a crime map provided by the Nassau County Police Department’s Third Precinct.

“We have been having a problem in our village over the last two and a half months with some burglaries,” Kreitzman said.

The police document described a single suspect in the robberies – a man in his early 20s, standing between five feet ten inches and six feet tall, wearing dark clothing and carrying a black back pack or duffel bag. The suspect has been spotted both wearing a ski mask and with an uncovered face, according to police.

“They have not been able to identify a vehicle so it may be someone who lives here and walks through the yards,” Kreitzman said.

The crimes have typically taken place between 6 p.m. .and 10  p.m. and usually involve the thief breaking through a rear sliding glass door, according to police.

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