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Residents: No More Bars on DeHart Street

Proposed bowling alley and restaurant, with a liquor license, roundly jeered at council meeting.

The attorney for those proposing a possible bowling alley on DeHart Street were only going before Town Council Tuesday to discuss whether they could hear a liquor license transfer request before going to the Planning Board. But, a number of residents came out to voice their opinion on the entire project.

That opinion? No way.

Following lengthy discussion and public comment, Town Council decided they would allow the liquor license transfer process to be discussed prior to the application's presentation to the Planning Board. A date was not yet set for when that hearing will take place.

Attorney Robert Williams, representing Billy Walsh–of the same Walsh family that owns on South Street, as well as and , on DeHart–came before the council April 10 to ask for them to first decide whether or not Walsh could transfer a "pocket liquor license (meaning it currently is not attached to any business)" to 10 DeHart St., which is located next to Tashmoo. If approved, that would allow the project–which Williams called "a boutique, 12-lane bowling alley and restaurant"–to then go before the Planning Board, which would then have to decide whether or not to approve it for construction.

Williams told the council the entire project was contingent on having the liquor license. Hence, why they were seeking that portion of the process be discussed before rather than after the Planning Board process.

"This deal does not go forward without a liquor license," he said.

If it was up to those residents who came out to speak on the plan, however, the deal would not go through at all.

"We're tired already of having drunk people outside our homes, and they're all coming from DeHart," said Macculloch Avenue resident Tricia Rosenfield, who moved to Morristown from Brooklyn with her family several years ago. "That's not what we moved here for."

"DeHart is very narrow and small," said Marie Rozan, of the 40 Park luxury condo development. "Within half-a-block, there are so many bars currently. It's already congested. This is way over utilization of this street–we'll have gridlock."

Alison Cutler, of Colles Avenue, noted the property in question has already had a mobile history–having been moved from behind several years ago to make way for a loading dock.

"It was a great success to move a piece of history," she said. "We know it will not be moved (again); it will be destroyed. It's a sad end to what was a beautiful story."

Mayor Tim Dougherty said at the meeting that a traffic study was already being conducted in that area, in order to determine what should, and could operate there.

Still, with several bars already on DeHart Street, and several more on South Street (including , which is expected to open later this year), Cutler said the idea of another bar in town was disturbing.

"It's a mess on DeHart, it's not a pretty place," she said. "This is not the right project for that street."

Monique May 03, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I totally agree! Our town has too many bars already -- especially on tiny DeHart Street. More delivery trucks by day and more drunks at night in an already congested area? Who needs that? It would be great to have more shopping and entertainment opportunities in Morristown by day.
Spaceman47 May 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Fred, you are a genius!!!! This neighbor to Dehart though is staying put!!!!
Dipper May 03, 2012 at 07:32 PM
This is 100% the best idea I have ever heard of on the patch!!! I'm going to galvanize the Morristown alchies by making "Bar of America" pint/shot glasses and really get the movement started. Perhaps we can start with a temporary beer garden on the green for the time being. Plus having the Walsh's control more of anything in Morristown is always a good idea!!!! WALSH! WALSH! WALSH! We can even gather up all the homeless people who frequent the green and send them to live on Margaret Brady's front lawn!!!
joe June 09, 2012 at 07:31 AM
Dehart has become a.garbage walsh avenue.
Prentiss Gray June 09, 2012 at 12:46 PM
When local government weighs the needs and rights of the residents against those of business and revenue, I'd hope they'd lean toward those who actually live here. Towns are people, not stores and bars. It's a delicate balance and what some people call "revitalization" can slide right into "Pottersville" on decisions just like this one.

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