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Point Pleasant bar fight: Boardwalk bars fight ordinance to close early

beermug_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Bars at Point Pleasant Beach are looking to stop an ordinance that would force them to stop selling alcohol by midnight, beginning in July.

Point Pleasant Beach’s Borough Council adopted the ordinance last month, citing a number of incidents in the community last summer. City officials have expressed concerns about how continued reports of noise, fighting, and public urination would affect family tourism in Point Pleasant. Local bars pointed out that they make significant financial contributions to the community.

On Tuesday, the Council will vote on a separate bill that will permit the bars to stay open until 2 a.m. for additional charges.

Attorneys have filed an appeal for Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and Martell’s Tiki Bar and Ocean Dunes asking to overturn the measure. According to the Asbury Park Press, attorney Jason Mandia said, “The council’s own comments illustrate that the ordinance was seen as nothing more than a tool to coerce the boardwalk business to reach a financial settlement with the borough.”

Point Pleasant Mayor Vincent Barrella mentioned that the appeal from the bars acknowledged the borough’s right to set their operating hours. "They admit we have the right to close the bars," Barrella said, according to an Associated Press report on philly.com. "But they now say we can't exercise the very same right they acknowledge that we have. That's straight out of `Alice In Wonderland.'”

Brick Patch reports that Point Pleasant has 10 business days to respond to the request that the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control block local enforcement of the ordinance until ABC arrives at a decision, ABC spokesman Zach Hosseini said.

Mandia said the new ordinance was adopted to "extort" money from the boardwalk bars and will have a serious impact on their businesses. Police said that last summer saw the highest rate of crime, disorderly persons' offenses and criminal mischief on weekends.

 

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