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Taming of the grill

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In May, Game Day Grill was hot. It had a pulsing hip-hop beat. It had a loud jumping crowd. It had a liquor license.

Game Day Grill was hot – too hot for E. Tremont business owners and Waterbury-LaSalle residents, who met proprietor Bobby Mileno at Community Board 10 to demand peace and quiet. They asked Assemblyman Michael Benedetto to warn the State Liquor Authority; Mileno’s liquor license expired on Wednesday, July 1. Mileno agreed to put Game Day Grill on ice. In fact, he had Friday and Saturday nights shut down. CB10 district manager Ken Kearns hasn’t received a complaint since.

The bar has been calm, Mary Jane Musano of the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association said.

But Game Day Grill is a business and Mileno a businessman. Game Day Grill was empty on a recent Saturday night. No hip-hop beat. No loud jumping crowd.

“We made $47 on one Saturday night,” Mileno said.

Mileno and partner proprietor Omar Sayeh opened Game Day Grill in 2005.

The bar is popular with Bronxites who enjoy meringue, the unpopular with business owners and residents who link Game Day Grill to noise pollution, vomit, violence and drunk driving.

Game Day Grill is not the only source of late night disorder on E. Tremont; other bars get rowdy, Mileno said. Game Day Grill has been a Latino hangout.

Mileno, an Italian-American who lives in the neighborhood, thinks the outrage directed at Game Day Grill is racially motivated.

“If it was an Irish bar, the cops would stop by no problem,” he said. “I don’t choose who comes in the door. I have a Spanish crowd and people don’t like it.”

Mileno will launch a regular karaoke night on Friday, July 10. If it’s a bust, Game Day Grill will be in trouble.

On Friday, June 26, teachers from Lehman High School packed Game Day Grill. Sadly, it was the last day of school. Mileno is stuck, he said. If he adds hip-hop to the mix, the bar will make money and the neighborhood will fume. If he maintains a tranquil vibe,

Game Day Grill will die. Mileno plans to ask Councilman James Vacca and other neighborhood leaders for help. Benedetto, Kearns and Musano have adopted a wait-and-see attitude.

“If there has been a permanent change [at Game Day Grill], I will be happy,” Musano said. “Unfortunat­ely, past performance indicates future performance.”

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group