Hoboken bar violations seem petty

Dear Editor:

Regarding the town’s recent crackdown on bars, maybe some bars are “overserving” and lack proper internal management of rowdy customers. Such establishments then perhaps deserve measures to encourage better business practices. However, it seems other establishments are receiving violations for much prettier infractions. Let’s not sweep the good up with the bad. These bars historically have been essential to the growth of Hoboken.
In recent decades, this growth was spurred, to a large extent, by bars and the nightlife they foster. Young professionals were attracted to the city by inexpensive rentals in close proximity to places they could hang out. Bars helped create Hoboken’s cool factor and added to the sense of community. This made for a symbiotic relationship between all businesses in Hoboken and the newcomers that began building their lives here. As more people came to Hoboken, property values rose (you can argue for good or bad), and this brought better buildings with local jobs in real estate, which led to more customers for the Washington street shops.
The real benefit, of course, is increased tax revenue, especially as more affluent families began to stay in Hoboken, even as their children got older. But again, it’s important to remember who contributed early on: the bars. These bars are struggling now and many of the long established, non-chains need the revenue. Their continued existence is not just a boon to the long-time locals who feel at home there, but also to maintain the character and sense of community of Hoboken, so it continues to be a place people want to live.
For local business owners to now claim that the environments encouraged by bars adversely affects their businesses is like a person complaining about the smell after moving next door to a farm. It’s somewhat disingenuous. So I say crackdown on the serial offenders (although the issue could well be mainly down to out of town visitors), but respect the other pubs and bars, with long time owners, that are making a serious effort to manage a nightly changing environment while still providing the neighborhood with a friendly, welcoming place to relax, get a beer, and hang.