With permit, beer may flow again at Naples

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Thursday nights at Naples Pizza and Restaurant may return to campus this March, as the dry pizzeria may soon turn the taps back on for the first time in about a year.

Naples plans to file an application this Feburary for a liquor license that should take about 30 days to process, said Peter Ressler, an attorney representing the restaurant. The license application follows a more than one-year period during which Naples had its liquor license suspended and eventually revoked by the state Liquor Control Commission.

“[The revocation] ends the end of this month [January],” Ressler said. “They’ve decided to apply for a new license.”

Ressler said he and Naples owner Anthony Prifitera hope the application for the new liquor license will be approved by March.

Prifitera could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Some students are enthusiastic about the possibility that Naples may soon return to fill their Thursday night plans.

“It would be a good place to have good drinks, a good time, and some smiles,” John Haynor ’04 said. “People would really enjoy it. There’s no where else where people can spend their Flex dollars on beer.”

For freshmen, March could bring a first chance to see the Naples nights about which they might have heard stories from upperclassmen.

“I only know what people have told me about Naples, and it seems like a traditional thing to do,” Gregory Aponte ’06 said.

Naples lost its liquor license in early 2002 after Prifitera failed to pay a $12,500 fine from the establishment’s most recent run-in with the LCC.

In fall 2001, the popular Wall Street hangout had its license suspended for 75 days after a September 2001 raid by LCC agents found the restaurant was illegally selling liquor to minors. In addition to the suspension, which began in January 2002, Naples was hit with a fine which, if paid by Dec. 21, 2001, would have brought alcohol back to the pizzeria at the end of March 2002.

But Prifitera did not pay the fine on time. In fact, he did not pay at all. Rather, Ressler contacted the commission nearly two weeks after the December deadline and offered to pay the fine in three installments. The commission denied Prifitera’s request and later revoked his liquor license permanently.

And some students speculate that the return of their favorite alcoholic beverages might liven up the punishment-prone pizzeria.

“A couple of time I’ve been there [since the suspension], it’s been absolutely desolate,” Aponte said.

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