Quality-of-life diminished near Bonfire Restaurant on Market Street, say residents | Paterson Times

Quality-of-life diminished near Bonfire Restaurant on Market Street, say residents


City residents living along East 39th and East 38th Streets have been complaining their quality of life has been compromised by the new management at Bonfire Restaurant on Market Street citing loud music, parking problems, and litter left behind by patrons.

“The newly established Bonfire has created a prison mentality on East 38th Street,” said Iris McCoy of the East 38th Street Block Association. “We’re forced to stay home because of parking.” She said at times residents are unable to access their own streets as patrons and valets from the establishment flood the roads with vehicles.

“You can’t even turn into your block because cars are three deep across,” she said on Tuesday evening before the city council. When residents are able to access their blocks they are unable to find parking, she said.

Alex Mendez, councilman at-large, said residents have requested East 38th Street be turned into a one-way. He said the city’s traffic engineering is conducting a study to see this through.

“I do think turning the street into a one-way will solve some of the problems, but it will also help to create additional problems,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large. He said turning the street into a one-way will cause access problems for residents.

Morris suggested implementing a permit based residential parking program that will prevent non-residents from taking up parking spaces. He said the residential parking would kick in during the weekend from Friday 6 p.m. to Monday 7 p.m.

“What this will do is at least alleviate the parking problems,” he said. Morris has been working on a city-wide residential parking program. He suggested the city do a pilot on East 38th and East 39th Streets.

Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, concurred citing a similar measure that was taken by Haledon, when that town had to deal with Brownstone patrons taking up street parking in the neighboring town.

Another area resident Sonya McKinney said the noise coming from the restaurant keeps her awake at night. “I can’t sleep, I have to take sleeping pills at night in order to get a good night sleep without being disturbed,” she said.

McKinney said the noise problem is only exacerbated by confused valets who have difficulty turning off alarms. She said vehicle alarms go off frequently during the night as the restaurant’s valet are handling patrons’ vehicles.

She also said patrons are leaving the establishment with bottles that are ending up on sidewalks. “I’ve never seen that block so dirty,” said McKinney of East 39th Street. Parked vehicles on the block are also being damaged, she said.

The establishment was to address some of these issues based on a mid-March meeting that took place between the new management of the restaurant and area residents. McCoy said the March 12th, 2015 meeting has not produced the intended results.

William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, said the problems stem from an ownership change at the Market Street restaurant. He said the model the new management is using night club, discotech, is very different from the previous management’s fining dining and catering.

Owner of the restaurant which is now called Bonfire Mofongo House and Lounge did not respond to a message seeking comments for this story.

McKoy said the booming lounge may be suffering from capacity problems with large number of patrons. He called for a second meeting to discuss residents’ complains on May 14th, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the lounge.

“I think we’re due another conversation,” said McKoy. “We’re not intending to close anybody or move against anybody. There has to be peace and quiet.”

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  • Richard Walter

    It will get worse when they open the patio they are building and the noise moves outside.

    • Manuel

      Mr. Walter with all the respect that patio will be use only for dinning and soft music only. I think you guys should focus more in the positive things that The Bonfire is bringing to the town of Paterson more jobs more taxes and a healthy environment for recreation… We should pay attention to others really bad things that are happening in our town.

  • Carmen Ortiz

    Has the restaurant tried to lease parking rights from neighboring businesses like family dollar or food fair after those shops close for the evening ? Just curious, as that can help alleviate street parking issues the residents are having? ?

    • Carmen Ortiz

      Ok i see they already have. . In all fairness, i can't speak for tenants who have no choice but to use street parking. . But if folks are going to complain about this place, then they should also complain about the Marcet Bar around the corner for creating parking problems, bringing in disorderly people into the neighborhood, etc.

  • Glenny

    This is incredible.. With all the shootings and death in this town.. And with all the drug dealers they are focusing more on a non serious problem of this Restaurant just because the neighbors are complaining about a parking space and Loud music??? Freaking SAD! The music is not even Loud and second they use the Dollar store parking and Food Fair! This is an income producing business that is employing Paterson residents! The focus needs to be elsewhere! Come on there's murders going on everyday in this town and yet no one is doing anything but complaining about minor things!!!

    • Vilma

      This is very sad that people r trying to close down a business down by making up so manny lies first the bonfire have there own parking space and they also use the dollar store and the parking space in front of the business second how is the street dirty if bonfire have security guards at the door and u can't even come out with a cup outside and I don't think that the neighbors will hear the music at there home bonfire have two doors before u go outside and if ur at ur home how can u hear the music now tell me something how come Jackson ville don't have this problem and that business is in the middle of grand st tenant leaving upstairs from the business and tenants all around them and the correctional facility so r we nitpicking or what so let's talk about all the business in Paterson what about the bars liquor stores and everything let not just focus on one business so many crime and drugs dealers around and ya worrying about a business that is paying taxes and giving Paterson a business to give people a job come on guys get ya self together……..

      • Carlos

        Why r we mentioning Jacksonville? if there are people that live upstairs then knew what they were renting in the first place. By mentioning Jacksonville it makes it seem like people want to make it a racial issue. As far as people living in the correctional facility I think they gave up their right to protest about noise.

        • Vilma

          I mention Jacksonville do to the fact that they also have tenants all around them because that's the case here neighbors r complaining about the parking issue the streets being dirty the loud music which none of that is true and about the correction facility no one is talking about the people inside I'm talking about all the cops that r working in the jail which I understand don't think they have a problem with Jacksonville and for ur answer no Is not a racial issue I also mention all the bars around Paterson and liquor store that r here that they all have tenants around them and on top of them and I really don't see no one complaining about that now u tell me or maybe I should say it's a racial issue cause I only see this place Beeing pick on

  • Arline Souza

    Well this is so SAD! This restaurant and lounge it's providing and making the classy style that paterson ever had. Like glenny said, you guys should go focus on the shoots and drug sells that is a lot in paterson. Not in the minor things like neighborhood parking and loud, by the way, the music it's not loud at all. The patio will be used for dinner and low music it's an ambient for relax and enjoy. Just one more thing, BONFIRE MOFONGO HOUSE IT'S A FAMILY AND FRIENDS PLACE, AND WE ARE FAMILY, WE ARE TOGETHER. This its really sad.

  • Richard Walter

    What is sad here is that even after reading this article some people are believing that there is no problem. Do you really think the neighbors are making this stuff up. Get real people!

    • Glenny

      You need to get real.. Like we said the major problem in this town is murders and no one is protesting about that.. Are you a neighbor? Maybe if you were you will realize is not a problem at all and people are actually going overboard for a ridiculous parking spot!!! Shame on all of YOU!

      • Richard Walter

        The shame is on you for not care about anyone but your self. The people that live in that neighborhood deserve to be respected and be able to live in peace.

        • Glenny

          What is it with you ..are you doing something positive for the community,what about the shooting and the drugs in the neiborhood,you think is fair that we have to have Paterson police sitting at our business instead of answering calls from killing,rape,drugs….come on theres more concern going on in Paterson then just a business just trying to be successful!!!! Nobody here in America lives in peace.. There is always something going on..and I just don't understand how complaining about not having a parking space is not living in peace! I park 2 blocks away from my house on a daily basis and I don't protest to ANYONE!!! Nobody owns a street parking space! It belongs to the public! Have a good night Mr. Walter

  • El #1

    I don't know how is it that this city is operating….. You have people investing their money in this city, creating jobs, making places for the citizens to attend, nice restaurants for the citizens to go dine in and nice lounges for people to enjoy themselves. And what the city is doing is scaring them away. That's why this city is never going nowhere because of poor thinking decisions. How many restaurants do you know like this in this city? Good food,good ambiance,family friendly. The neighbors complaining of loud music, you dont hear anything outside when the music is on. They have a valet with good service, they are making a beautiful patio so there customers could enjoy the nice weather and good food. To the city officials or whoever is in charge leave bonfire restaurant alone and let them work. They pay a lot of tax dollars to this city and bring customers to visit the city of Paterson.

  • Bob

    U guys havent been there or seen how crazy it gets there. Bonfire has always been a restaurant and never gave any issues. Now under the new manegment. Every weekeng is a chaos with loud music. And most of them come out of there drunk. I have seen plenty of fights. And the place is too small for the volume of customers they get. They are promotin their place in LA MEGA. The biggest latin radio in the tri-state so you know that it will get overcrowded. Witch means is a public safaty hazards. Paterson doesnt need no more nightclubs. We need more Librarys more school activities for the kids. Not no club. We are not happy with this place buttom line.

  • Darwin I. Lainez

    This is ridiculous how people's priorities are messed up instead of complaining about city crimes such as murders , rapers , drug dealers, etc. I personally believe this venue offers entertainment for the whole family with amazing food and service if u go to have dinner u always gonna see a lot of families eating there .
    This is the only mofongo house in the area keeping our culture and traditions alive .
    About parking as far as I know it has always being hard to find it in NYC / NJ area .

  • Emely

    Are you kidding me? The quality of life in this town has been compromised by drug dealers, criminals, gang confrontations, poor juvenile guidance, etc. Bon Fire does not affect the quality of life in Patterson. CORRECTION!!! Yes, it does affect the quality of life, positively, of many Paterson residents that have a job at this restaurant, and the quality of life of many others because all the taxes this business pays. where do you think these taxes go to? Also this business offers a healthy environment for socialization and recreation. My grandmother goes to that restaurant when it becomes a lounge and loves it!!!! If there is any "parking problem” that can be discussed and solved!!! But all the other allegations looks like a paid commercial to me!!!!! With all due respect of Course!