Midnight bar closings would force to lay off 50 of its 200 full-time, year-round workers, Pat Storino told the Point Beach GOP organization at the Woman's Club on St. Louis Avenue on Thursday night.
"People have told me I should lay off the Point Pleasant Beach residents first, so they can picket," Storino said, adding, laughing, "So I may have to lay off my own kids."
Layoffs would be one of the effects of a local ordinance adopted on May 15 that would compel all bars in Point Beach to stop serving alcohol at midnight, said Storino, who has owned Jenkinson's since 1977.
That ordinance will be put to its first test today when
Jenkinson's and Martell's asked for the stay and for ABC to invalidate the ordinance. The stay would be for bars to stay open until 2 a.m., their current closing time, until ABC makes it decision on earlier closings.
The ordinance was adopted after a year of discussing possible ways to avert another summer like last summer, when the amount of offenses and crimes on the weekends was the worst in 17 years, according to police.
Storinos Express Cautious Optimism
After he addressed the group, Storino was asked if he's optimistic ABC will grant the stay today.
"I'm not sure, but the lawyers think maybe we'll be OK," he said. "They know, I don't know."
Frank Storino, one of Pat Storino's sons, said he felt somewhat optimistic, simply because he felt that he and his family had not given the state any reason to deny their request.
"I'm a very religious, spiritual person, I read the Bible a lot, I pray a lot, and I have faith, so, yes, I have a good feeling about tomorrow because there's not one blemish on my license, I haven't done anything wrong and that alone should be enough for them to say, 'What have they done to deserve this?' " he said.
Frank Storino said Jenkinson's bars stay open until 2 a.m. primarily on Friday and Saturday nights, with some 2 a.m. closings on weekdays, most notably Thursday nights, depending on the demand.
As Storino spoke to the group, he had numerous criticisms of Mayor Vincent Barrella, including that he has "a vendetta" against Jenkinson's and he has been unwilling to work with the company regarding issues like parking and working out an alternative to earlier bar closings.
"I've avoided him," Storino said. "They say we don't do our fair share. We pick up the garbage on the boardwalk and we man the municipal toilets that Barrella closed his first week in office."
"And that saved the town over $20,000," said former Democratic Councilman John Dixon who was in the audience, along with former Democratic Councilman Frank Rizzo and Democratic Councilman Tim Lurie.
Patch could not call Barrella due to the lateness of the hour. However, in the past, when faced with these types of accusations from both Jenkinson's and Martell's, Barrella has insisted he has no ax to grind with the boardwalk businesses, he knows they are valuable tax ratables for the town that also help generate parking revenue and he is all for tourists who are "well-behaved," but not for those who stumble drunk into residential neighborhoods at all hours and cause disturbances.
Only one resident who attended the meeting asked a tough question during the question and answer portion of the evening. Tom Angelucci, who lives with his wife and three children on Atlantic Avenue, asked Pat Storino, "Do you acknowledge there's a problem and what's the solution?"
"Most of the problem is at 2 when bars let out, but we've taken care of a lot of that," Storino said. He acknowledged he is usually home sleeping at 2 a.m., but said there was one morning he observed the bar crowd leaving and noticed a line of cabs waiting to take bar patrons home.
He said Jenkinson's also hired private detectives to patrol the boardwalk during late and early morning hours during the past four weeks to observe what's been taking place.
"This year, it's been very quiet," he said.
Tax Appeals and Advertising
This was a highly rare public speaking appearance for Storino and he opened by saying, "I'm not a public speaker." But it seemed like he has wanted to talk about a lot of things for a long time.
"A lot of people ask, 'Why did you file a ?' " Storino said, adding that Ed McGlynn, a longtime Jenkinson's attorney, warned him not to discuss that at the GOP meeting.
"Ed McGlynn said, 'Don't bring it up,' but I'm bringing it up," he said, prompting laughter. He said Jenkinson's appealed its taxes simply because they are so high.
"Our latest tax bill is $1,350,000," he said. "And that's after all the reductions," he said, referring to the court-ordered reduction in the company's tax assessments for boardwalk and downtown properties.
He said Jenkinson's has 1,200 seasonal employees, most recently filling more of those positions by hiring more "local kids," and fewer workers from overseas.