NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – After a lengthy discussion regarding three liquor license applications, the Borough Council decided to approve two at the Monday, Dec. 21 meeting.

The council held a special meeting on Dec. 3 to hear presentations from the owners of The Murray Hill Inn, Bistro 73 and Jimmy Vardas, the owner of the former Friendly’s property. Each applicant had a chance to present their plans for the use of a liquor license. New Providence can only have a total of four liquor licenses in place simultaneously.

Councilman Armand Galluccio explained that the borough would “like to see good establishments” rather than look for new revenue sources. Councilman Michael Gennaro acknowledged that he is not “wise enough” to argue for or against the licenses.

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Councilman Robert Robinson noted that the borough has been without a liquor license for more than100 years. The borough should be “conservative," he said, and suggested that the borough approve one application now and reconsider other applications in six months. “Keep the race interesting.”

Councilmen Gary Kapner and Robert Munoz agreed with Robinson that the borough should start with one license. However, Galluccio, Jim Madden and Gennaro preferred an approval of two licenses. The straw poll ended in tie, thus allowing Morgan to break the tie first time in his nine years as a mayor.

Morgan, noting that the borough is trying to build up the downtown, sided with those preferring two establishments with liquor licenses.

All councilmen stated they were impressed with the presentations by the owner of Bistro 73 and Jimmy Vardas and decided to allow them to obtain the licenses.

The formal resolution will be voted on in January.