Last Call at Midnight?

Residents of Park Street and Church Street are not the only ones complaining about their noisy neighbors at the corner bar.

Point Pleasant locals were disturbed by the early morning ruckus and rowdy behavior on the boardwalk. Back in May, the borough council passed an ordinance that requires the bars, including Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and Martell’s Tiki Bar, to close at midnight instead of 2 a.m. starting in July.

This past Tuesday, the borough council turned down the $800,000 fee that bars had been paying the borough for over five years. The fee paid for more police patrols in the area, and allowed bars to remain open until 2 a.m.

But the council wasn’t having it this year, and according to an AP article on, Mayor Vincent Barrella and several council members engaged in a bitter debate,  citing bad behavior by bar patrons, “including public urination and defecation.”

While Montclair’s nightlife may not be as hopping as Point Pleasant’s, the local complaints against the South Park Sports bar, including the 12 charges filed against the bar by Montclair’s municipal prosecutor, will be discussed at Tuesday night’s liquor license renewal hearing. Residents will have a chance to voice their objections to the bar’s license renewal. A separate disciplinary hearing to officially address the 12 charges will occur at a later date which has not been decided yet.

Nancy LeRoy, the Siena resident who has spearheaded the local reaction against the bar, said that about 20 people have offered their support from Church Street, and 30 people from the Siena were co-signers on the complaint filed on May 11.

LeRoy said that she otherwise loves vibrant nightlife in the downtown area, but feels that the corner of South Park and Church Street deserves something better than the sports bar. During the past two years and nine months, police have responded to calls about the bar 94 times.

What do you think of having restrictions placed on the bar’s liquor license? Do you think a 12 a.m. closing time is necessary in Montclair? Tell us in our poll.



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  1. People who bought at The Siena are shocked – SHOCKED – that the bar across the street is an establishment that serves alcohol to young people who tend to stay out late into evening and be loud. SHOCKED. In a related development, couple from Brooklyn who buys a reduced priced house near the train tracks are outraged by the sound of train going by three or four times an hour.

  2. 2am is too early to close as it is. Most people are only heading out at midnight. Please leave the pittance of a nightlife that this town has alone.

  3. Yes it is obnoxious that people moved into that building then excepted the community around it to change for their tastes. All this article does is let the rest of us know Ms LeRoy is not a good neighbor.

    And the theme of the bar won’t change the crowd. When I was in my young 20’s it changed from one place to another and it was all the same crowd. And we were loud, drunk, rowdy, all the things to be expected from a bar.

  4. It is a bar; it serves alcohol. Alcohol makes people think they are attractive and intelligent when, in effect, it makes them just the opposite. That would make me want to scream and be rowdy too. Maybe if the folks who built Siena could have just found some sound-deadening mold…

    And changing the closing hour will have one and only one lasting effect: the kids will start earlier and get drunker faster. Wake up.

  5. Close at midnight? Maybe we can get bars to serve only milk & cookies, too.
    Get the Prudence Police off our backs already.

    Next up a Nice & Quiet ordinance. Anyone caught being rowdy will be fined on the first offense. After that it’ll be a caining.

  6. 2am closing time is reasonable. Midnight is not. Don’t punish the decent establishments in town based on what happens at South Park.

    To be fair to the Sienna folks, I think the comparisons to living near an airport or train tracks is off base. The background noise from people eating at outside tables and patrons entering and exiting the bar is to be expected. But throngs of loud patrons on the sidewalk after midnight is not, and wouldn’t be tolerated at the other bars in town, or at least not to the extent that it is allowed at South Park. Putting restrictions or stipulations on the renewal of the liquor license is reasonable.

  7. Maybe Siena residents that don’t like the smell of coffee can delay the Starbucks opening until they went to work.

    Hey I want to buy a place on Bloomfield Ave, who can I call to complain about the traffic?

  8. If you don’t want to live across the street from a sports bar, then don’t buy a place across the street from a sports bar. I think the mold and dripping water is getting to Residents of the Sienna and they are just looking for an ax to grind.

  9. Just want to point out that London pubs close 11-11:30, and they seem to be alright with it. Maybe we just need to get a better class of drunk people in Montclair. The good-looking ones who you see in the beer ads who drink responsibly.

  10. Councilor Baskerville wants a “dry” Montclair. Every time the vote comes up, this kook votes against every licence.

  11. I don’t quite understand the issue. It sounds to me, if I am grasping this correctly, like it isn’t so much the bar that’s a problem as it is noisy people outside the bar. If that’s so, why not legislate against that problem? Perhaps a law about loud drunken behaviour in public, or some such thing?

    In fact, I’d be a bit surprised if there wasn’t already some applicable law.

    If this happens to be an offense that involves a fine, this can even prove to be an income opportunity for the town. Worse case, enforcement should pay for itself.


  12. There are bars, and there are bars. According to the Montclair Times, this bar generated more police calls than three other bars combined. You could have a bar on that corner that wasn’t a rowdy dive, starting with better management.
    Stop blaming the residents of the Sienna — they are joined in their complaints by residents of another large apartment building on Church Street which definitely pre-dates the sports bar.

  13. I do hope that the idiots down the shore kill their golden goose – it would serve the humorless bas***ds right.

    As for Montclair – it’s not broken, leave it alone. Enforce existing laws and move on.

  14. I am generally pro-bars. And what passes for “rowdiness” at South Park isn’t even the ante at assorted Jersey b’n’b’s (for “beer and beating”) I could name. Still, if it bugs the neighborhood THAT much, then the matter bears some looking into. “Youth” (even relative youth) does not always have to served, Even legally.

    I am amazed that that true pit of horrow in Bloomfield (where it helps to have a current tetanus shot before using the restrooms) is still open. But rhe would-be scenesters in downtown Montclair really are a hapless-looking bunch, and I’ve always suspected that biz at South Park swells after an event at the Wellmont.

    Noisy people outside a bar, of course, are a problem usually directly attributable to bar management, and there it seems obvious that South Park could do a lot more. Even if it meant hiring more effective thus to work its door.

  15. “Noisy people outside a bar, of course, are a problem usually directly attributable to bar management, and there it seems obvious that South Park could do a lot more. Even if it meant hiring more effective thus to work its door.”

    Agree – that’s not to much to ask of the management. Just make sure the thugs ( err, bouncers ) are properly trained and licensed.

  16. Since when did we become such a puritanical society? If you don’t want to be annoyed by the sounds and smells of a bar, don’t move near one.

  17. Noisy people outside a bar are usually smoking since the do gooders decided no smoking in bars. 20 years ago we were just as loud as the current crows only we stayed inside.

    In those 20 plus years ago “residents of another large apartment building on Church Street ” use to put on a show nightly in front of their window that was way more inappropriate then any bar noise. From the roof of Karl’s/CVS there was a great view.

  18. Can you believe this, I was just in Rutts Hut and they sell hot dogs. I don’t like hot dogs who can I call to make them stop?

  19. In my 20s I used to argue the turning of the clock every fall and demand that my local bar stay open till 3am. In my 30s, I can’t believe people would want to stay up that late and drink when there are garage sales and errands to run in the morning!
    With that said, let the bars stay open. Its good for the economy and it helps ugly people find romance!

  20. If you want 24/7 bars (which are now allowable in Britain, in fact, if local authorities don’t mind), try Somers Point or AC in this state. But really, anybody still drinking round 5AM (or beginning to round 7AM, usually someplace catering to night shift workers and with a name like “Stash’s Old Stand” or “Walter’s Rendezvous”) is not usually a pretty sight.I suspect many posters above have just never done that kind of truly serious drinking.

    Mrs. Martta, we’re no more a “puritanical” society” than North Korea or Chile. But there are bars round here and there are, well “bar bars.” Have you ever been in any of South Hackensack’s go-go venues round 4AM of a Saturday morn? It’s enough to turn even yourself into Oliver Cromwell, I assure thee.

  21. We used to go to Passaic to drink after the Montclair bars closed @ 2am. The Passaic bars were open until 4am back then. My personal fav was the “Heidelberg”, with the little hot nut machines and the ice cold St. Pauli Girl. Sometimes we’d go into NYC to finish the night off after the Heidelberg closed, coming home to Jersey seeing the sun rise on the other side of the Lincoln tunnel.

  22. Back then the formula we observed for marathon drinking sessions was to have no more than one drink per hour. You’d reach a kind of blissful state of pure intoxication and not suffer from the effects of drinking more than the human body can handle.

  23. Herb, you’re killin’ me. But don’t even joke about no coffee in the morning. That’s a scary thought.

  24. While we’re on the subject…I grew up just a few miles down the road from the Tuscan Dairy plant in Union, NJ (you can still see it from the Garden State Parkway). The tavern across the street from the dairy was open 24 hours a day in order to cater to the workers coming off their shifts. When I was home from college, my friends and I would go there every once in a while, just for the novelty of drinking at a bar at 9 am. The one thing I still remember is how the dairy would gave each employee two cartons of milk to take home after every shift. Needless to say, I’d usually go home with a carton or two of leftover milk.

  25. Cathar: None of the bars in the now-Disneyfied Montclair stay open past 2 am. (when I lived there, I think closing time for most was 1:30 am). So no, I don’t think we have to worry about any go-go bars staying open till 4, or go-go bars at all for that matter. I think 2 am is perfectly reasonable for a bar closing time. And like I said, if you are shopping for a home, it is your responsibility to check out the nabe. If you see a bar down the block that caters to rowdy folk and you like peace and quiet, then maybe you shouldn’t buy there.

  26. What happened to the days when there was a bar on every corner and a man could stumble home to the wife with the help of the local constabulary?
    Where the ginmill was the gathering place for news, entertainment, a singalong and verbal jousting among the rumpots. The jukebox was king, no one worried about their 401k.
    Then you bid your farewells and let the cool night air hit you in the puss reminding you to get some shut eye before you were back on the bus, train, ferry, trolley to making that morning shift at Skunkworks inc.,Belchfire Industries, Blumenfetzer & Sons. Where did those dreams of a contender go? Gone to China? gone to India? Gone with the wind that whips thru the Eurozone and the deserted graffiti stained factories along the Amtrak rails of our inner cities.
    We’ve drank the dregs from the barrels, now we stumble into the 21st century like the tortured in a Bosch painting and we fret about our bars staying open to 2pm.
    I say, let us get in our cups! let us dance like the uncloistered! Let us rally in the final days!
    Now go to work……
    PAZ in Times Square.

  27. Mrs. Martta, you really think Montclair is becoming Disneyfied? Nah. I’ve had better times even in chain restaurants in downtown Orlando than at the very poor imitation of an “authentic” pub that is Egan & Sons. (But the DLV Lounge 20 some years ago…now there was a “bar bar,” perennially jam -packed with rheumy-eyed patrons. No Polo knits with popped collars back then, nosirree!)Perhaps what Montclair could really use today in fact is a grungy LCN-fronted bar with low-ish prices and an even baser clientele.

    As for the closing times of bars, those in a town with, for instance, a 2Am shut-down time, in my experience, always have their clocks set ahead 15-20 minutes. It’s an old device to avoid ABC violations for late service.

    MellonBrush, Passaic used to have some good low-rent go-go dives and bars. (May still for all I know.) My favorite was the “Golden Boy” bar a block away from the Capitol. It was run by former local pro wrestler Teddy “Golden Boy Brewer, and to see him take care of drunks all by himself was to be reminded that even the fakery of wrestling calls for significant physical and athletic gifts. And remember the pool room on the second floor opposite the Capitol? It really did have a “No spitting on the floor” sign, and the low-lifes there really spat on the floor anyway, and the tables were barf-dappled baize. Plus it was open until 2AM!

  28. Cathar, now you’ve got me thinking. On rare occasions in college, when the evening’s celebration lasted until the next morning, we used to join the night shift workers for refreshments at a particular establishment whose name unfortunately escapes me. Democracy personified.

  29. Mellon,
    The Heidelberg was my 2nd home for years. We lived for Monday Night Football at the ‘berg and free wings, pizza or hot dogs at half time. I used to pound those Weiss beers. Also The Downing Street Pub on Main Ave. I don’t remember the Golden Boy that may have become the Heidelberg because both were one block away from the Capitol.

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