Liquor Store Loses Bid to Set Up Shop Next to Queens Rehab After Protests - NBC New York

Liquor Store Loses Bid to Set Up Shop Next to Queens Rehab After Protests

The liquor store had tried to set up shop next to Reality House, a rehab in Astoria that offers individual and group substance abuse and mental health treatment and also caters specifically to veterans with PTSD

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    Liquor Store Loses Bid to Set Up Shop Next to Queens Rehab After Protests
    News 4

    What to Know

    • A liquor store had been trying to open up shop next to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Queens, prompting some outrage.

    • Residents and pols protested; the next-door rehab offers group and individual substance abuse/mental health services and caters to vets

    • NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides announced via Twitter Wednesday afternoon that the application had been denied

    A liquor store has been denied its application to open next to a drug and alcohol rehab center in Queens, a bid that had the neighborhood up in arms over the potential impact to people seeking help, many for substance abuse, next door.

    Astoria residents, accompanied by local elected and religious leaders had rallied to protest the new liquor store location. It would have been set up next to Reality House, a rehab in the heart of Astoria that offers individual and group substance abuse and mental health treatment services and also caters specifically to veterans who suffer from PTSD and other issues. 

    The rehabilitation center has been open in the Astoria area since 2013 and has helped more than 600 people so far, the executive director of Reality House said in a statement supporting the opposition to the liquor store.

    "We will protest every day. We will stand here every day and say no and we will call out names and hold people accountable because this cannot happen,” Democratic NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides had said in a statement.

    With a liquor store that has been open for about 50 years located only four blocks away from the protested area, residents and other critics questioned the need for another one right next to the rehabilitation center.

    Ultimately, the liquor store application was denied.

    Constantinides triumphantly announced the denial via Twitter Wednesday afternoon, writing, "Happy to report #SLA has denied the applicant a liquor license to operate next to Reality House. The person has been told to find another location, and we will make sure it doesn’t negatively impact our community."