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No Slamdunk for New NYC Bar

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Boxers NYC, a new gay sports bar planned for 37 W. 20th St., in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, was granted a liquor license by Community Board 5, according to DNAinfo, a Manhattan news site, but the site will be subject to additional restrictions due to the neighborhood's memories of Limelight, a notorious but now-obsolete dance club known for wild partying, housed in an historic church just steps away.

"We have too many bars and too many problems," said Chelsea resident Larry Aronson. "We need other types of establishments besides those where people get drunk."

Boxers co-owner Bob Fluet dismisses anxious detractors. "The reality is we are just creating a sports bar. ... I think [residents] have suffered a lot from clubs and this is not a club."

The board's restrictive recommendations, of the sort typically reserved for establishments that are already a nuisance, include a ban on DJs and club promoters as well as a requirement for a 24-hour complaint hotline. The board's recommendations are now passed to the New York State Liquor Authority, the final decision maker in liquor license applications.

"It's not Limelight," said self-described future patron David Zerykier, a member of the New York Gay Pool League. "It's for watching TV and eating pizza."

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