NEWPORT BEACH — Blackie's by the Sea's victory in getting its liquor license has heartened all the bar and restaurant operators in Newport Beach who feared new, stricter city ordinances would hurt their businesses.
"That was a big victory," said Dan Marcheano, president of the Newport Beach Restaurant Assn. "The city made the right decision and we feel we have turned the corner in our relationship with them."
On Monday, the City Council overturned Police Chief Robert J. McDonell's decision to deny the popular bar near the Newport Pier permission to sell liquor in addition to beer and wine.
In the past several months, the city has passed tougher requirements for bars to get liquor licenses after residents, particularly on the Balboa Peninsula, complained about noisy bar patrons creating problems.
Marcheano said many restaurant and bar owners, fearing that the council would set a precedent by denying a neighborhood bar a liquor license, lobbied City Hall on Blackie's behalf.
"The owner has shown he is a responsible person," Marcheano said. "He has run that place for 33 years and there have never been problems."