LAKE COMO, NJ — Lake Como residents living around Joe’s Surf Shack should no longer hear the clanking of beer bottles into commercial trash bins between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

In renewing Fahey Hospitality Group’s annual liquor license, the borough council extended by two hours the daily prohibition of the dumping of bottles and garbage outside the 18th Avenue bar, which sits in a residential neighborhood.

The change from 11 p.m. to 9 p.m. followed the submission of a petition signed by 25 residents living in the immediate vicinity of the bar — Wildwood Place, Bradley Terrace, 18th Avenue and Parkway — who wanted the time moved to 5 p.m. due to the late-night noise created by the dumping of the bottles.

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But bar owner Robert Fahey told the council that a 5 p.m. cutoff would “be a nightmare,” especially when the establishment returns to its regular closing time of 2 a.m. after the coronavirus-related public health emergency is lifted.

“It would create a lot of problems — bugs, rodents, bad smells for the neighborhood,” he said, explaining that it would leave between 50 to 60 garbage cans filled with bottles needing to be emptied after 7 a.m.

Fahey also said that 70 percent of its packaged beer served has been changed over from glass bottles to cans.

In establishing the 9 p.m. cutoff time, Mayor Kevin Higgins also suggested the bar separate the bottles from the cans as a way to reduce the amount of bottles dumped after 5 p.m.

In addition to the extended ban on the nighttime dumping of bottles, Joe’s Surf Shack will put back a fence between the rear of its property at 415-417 18th Avenue and adjacent backyards on Wildwood Place, as well as extend its litter patrol to Newman Street. Currently, it is required to collect litter before 10 a.m. daily on both sides of 18th Avenue from Parkway eastbound to B Street, and on White Street to Redmond Avenue.

The borough council also unanimously approved on September 1 the liquor licenses of the following establishments:

  • Bar Anticipation, 703-705 16th Avenue
  • Discount Wine and Liquors, 508 18th Avenue
  • La Sierra Restaurant, 1621 Main Street (active and inactive “in-pocket” licenses)
  • Lake Como Wine Shop, 1700 Main Street
  • McCann’s Tavern, 1704 Main Street
  • Paul’s Tavern, 1703 Main Street
  • Weinstein Liquors, 1601 Main Street

Voting in favor of each renewal application were Mayor Kevin Higgins, Council President Douglas Witte, and council members Virginia Kropac, Christopher D’Antuono, David Gardner and Nick DeMauro. Councilwoman Hawley Scull was absent.

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