WEST NEW YORK – A status conference was held Tuesday morning at the Hudson County Courthouse in Jersey City to address the lawsuit filed by West New York restaurant Son Cubano and their landlord against the town of West New York and the neighboring Grandview Residences.
According to town attorney Gilberto Garcia, he has advised Mayor Felix Roque and Commissioner Caridad Rodriguez to rescind an ordinance restricting Son Cubano’s hours, which he claims was “poorly drafted” by the former town attorney.
If the ordinance is in fact rescinded, “the case is over,” Judge Peter Bariso said.
Last December the town passed an ordinance requiring any restaurant with a liquor license within 100 feet of any residence or condo within the “Controlled Waterfront Development District” (an area surrounding Riverwalk Place in the Port Imperial development) to close by 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and midnight Friday and Saturday.
The only restaurant this affects is Son Cubano, a business that normally stays open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and has live music and dancing. Residents of the nearby waterfront luxury buildings had complained about it.
Garcia stated that the ordinance is not constitutional because it only applies to one part of the town, which is why he has recommended that it be rescinded.
“West New York is not two towns, it is one,” he said before the conference. “Why aren’t residents on Bergenline Avenue as deserving as those by the riverfront? All residents deserve the same respect. It’s all or nothing.”
Garcia announced that a preliminary hearing to consider rescinding the ordinance has been scheduled by the town for June 20 and that the final vote will take place on July 18. Bariso stayed all of the deadlines for the plaintiffs’ requests for information (which had been originally set for April 17 and had not been met) until July 18.
If the ordinance is not rescinded at that time, the plaintiffs’ requests for information must be met by the defendants by July 30. – Gennarose Pope