Pub owner to make changes

New owner of 702 Morris Park Avenue met with area residents to address concerns surrounding the opening of a new restaurant at the former spot of the troublesome MP Pub. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Renovations continue at the former site of the once troublesome MP Pub, as new owner Charlie Khalil hopes renovations will erase the past.

On Tuesday April 7, Khalil attended the Morris Park/Van Nest Community Board 11 committee meeting to discuss the future for 702 Morris Park Avenue and hear the residents’ concerns.

While redesigning the backyard to include six patio sets, a fountain, Internet access, and multiple planters, he has addressed excessive noise spilling into adjacent residential yards by constructing a fully-enclosed canopy to contain the sound.

“My father has to wake up for work at 4 a.m., and I am just nervous about the outdoor lounge part,” said neighbor Kelly Squeglia. “We like that we got to speak with the owner and hopefully he follows through with his promises.”

Following a classic sports theme, the new light and earthy toned interior will feature six 40-inch HD televisions to air sporting events.

A jukebox has replaced the thunderous speakers and the bar has been cut down to accommodate approximately 14 guests waiting to be seated at the 15 tables.

Though the hours remain 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, in response to resident concerns the outdoor section will close at 10 p.m.

According to Khalil to prevent the return of the negative element that once caused problems in the community, a dress code will be enforced and a minimum age requirement of 23 years old after 10 p.m.

“He seems to be willing to do the right thing and doing what the community has asked and made some concessions to neighbors,” said Al D’Angelo of the Morris Park Community Association and CB11. “If he doesn’t do what he promised we will have a problem, but he seems community minded and I wish him well.”

Khalil will be acting as security, owner and manager, but plans to bring in extra security if necessary on weekends or during busier hours.

Joe Bombace, an area resident and member of CB11 remains concerned that old problems will return. “During my conversation with him a few red flags went up and I have to do what is in the best interest of my community.”

The title of the new restaurant remains undecided, after Khalil accepted the request to change the name Y.O.’s Restaurant, Sports Bar & Lounge, which was deemed offensive and inappropriate by local residents.

Khalil plans to open in approximately three weeks and is beginning the process of applying for his own liquor license. The matter will go before the full CB11 board at the next meeting on Thursday, April 23.

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