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Eric Adams Daniel M. Kummer Craig Hammerman
Borough President Chairperson District Manager

250 Baltic Street Brooklyn, New York 11201-6401
t: (718) 643-3027 f: (718) 624-8410 e:
October 30, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in support of Bobby Gagnon with regard to a recent health code violation received
by The Gate of 321 5
Avenue, Brooklyn in my district for allowing a companion dog to
accompany a patron onto the premises.

The Gate was reportedly found to be in violation of section 81.25 of the Citys Health Code
which states, No live animal shall be kept, housed or permitted to enter into or remain in any
food service establishment or non-retail food processing establishment. This section shall not
apply to edible fish, crustacean, shellfish, fish in aquariums, seeing-eye dogs accompanying
sightless persons, hearing or service dogs accompanying and assisting disable persons, or patrol
dogs accompanying police officers. (emphasis added)

Section 81.03 (j) of the Health Code defines a food service establishment as, a place where food
is provided for individual portion service directly to the consumer whether such food is provided
free of charge or sold, whether consumption occurs on or off the premises or is provided from a
pushcart, stand or vehicle.

To the best of my knowledge, The Gate is not a food service establishment. It is a bar. If you are
thirsty, they have an ample and impressive selection of libations to choose from. If you are
hungry, you are out of luck. They do not make food. They do not prepare food. They do not
serve food. They certainly do not provide food, a necessary condition of the definition of a
food service establishment per Section 81.03(j). The most they can do for their hungry patrons is
share a selection of assorted menus from other nearby bona fide food service establishments.
Patrons can then order their own food, have it delivered or picked up, bring it into and eat it on
the premises and, if they are civil about it, clean up after themselves. Any food found at The
Gate is strictly outside food. Its really not a hard concept. The Gate is a bar, not a food service

Companion dogs contribute greatly to the environment at The Gate. It has a well-earned
reputation for being a dog-friendly establishment. They have rules in place, which I have
personally seen enforced, to ensure that dog owners are held responsible for their companions
behavior. And the dog-friendly reputation extends well beyond local residents dropping in with
their faithful companions. The Gate has generously opened their doors for some important non-
profit organizations like Foster Dogs NYC, Pets for Park Slope and the Charles Henderson
250 Baltic Street Brooklyn, New York 11201-6401
t: (718) 643-3027 f: (718) 624-8410 e:
Animal Rescue to use their establishment for fundraising, awareness-raising and other special
events and activities.

The Gate is truly a special neighborhood place. Bobby Gagnon has inculcated a public house
spirit in this establishment which invites thoughtful discourse and offers a superior range of high-
quality libations. In the interest of full disclosure I have organized and attended numerous
meetings at The Gate largely because it so expertly resonates with the culture of the
neighborhood. I hope that you will agree that this special place should be allowed to operate as it
hasquite successfullyall these years. Being dog-friendly is an important part of that culture.

In summary, to the best of my knowledge The Gate is not a food service establishment and
therefore should not be subject to the provisions of Article 81 of the Health Code. The Gate is a
reputable establishment which has been in operation for many years without any record of
complaint or concerns being raised to my office. And The Gate acts as an important local
gathering place where a wide range of causesfrom the most local to the most globalare
discussed, debated and acted upon.

For all of the above reasons I would encourage you to dismiss the subject health code violation
and, furthermore, I would ask you to indicate in your ruling that since this is not a food service
establishment it should not be subject to enforcement of Article 81 provisions by the Department
of Health and Mental Hygiene in the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if anything further is required.

Respectfully Submitted by:

/ S /

Craig R. Hammerman
District Manager

cc: Hon. Brad Lander
Mark Caserta, Park Slope 5
Avenue Business Improvement District