by Marianne Olive
Local business owner Marianne Olive responds here to the 9/20 post Anarchy in Nyack
There once was a time when Nyack had few restaurants and stores. But we did have Military Police and the National Guard patrolling our downtown.
The year I opened “Hair’s Marianne” the center of the village had been destroyed by a fire and many stores were boarded up. People were afraid to come to Nyack, a village whose name was synonymous with race riots and controversy. We have moved far away from those days and have now have a wonderfully diverse community for people from every walk of life, age and race which is a destination for people in the tri-state area.In the 1970’s and 80’s many pioneers took a chance on Nyack. Together we have molded Nyack into one of the most charming and desirable villages in the region. Nyack can be compared with the Hamptons, Hoboken, The Village, Woodstock and Provincetown. All of these places have thriving nightlife which is one of the most big reasons each has become popular. Nyack was not always so desirable and I wouldn’t want to go back to the way it once was.
Liquor licenses are difficult to procure. Every establishment is very careful to maintain a a clean license by not serving minors, by keeping out trouble, and by not serving already intoxicated people. We were all young once and did just as these young people do and then some. I went to Woodstock, traveled Europe and the USA for a few years and settled in Nyack. I had a vision for Nyack and this vision has come to fruition. Let it be! Lets enjoy Nyack during the day by shopping in the wonderful stores that make up this daytime activity. Let’s enjoy dining at the many international restaurants that make up the evening hours, lets go spend money at the many galleries, boutiques, and theaters that make Nyack so unique and promote every store in the village and not be so fast to criticize. Let’s all go out and listen to the wonderful jazz, blues, rock and roll or original sounds that come out of Olive’s every night . Let’s embrace all of the beauty of Nyack, all of the talent of Nyack and all of the people of Nyack all day and all night. They don’t call me “All Day, All Night, Marianne” for nothing!
When I opened my restaurant “One Potato, Two Potato”, the only dining options in the village were “The Office,” “The Old Fashion,” “ODs,” and the “Coven Cafe.” Hail to everyone who has taken the risk to open a business because without them there wouldn’t be a thriving downtown.
I have spent many years perfecting my music venue to cater to every age group and every music genre. I graduated from the French Culinary Institute and grow my own produce for my restaurant. I take my business very seriously. I do not serve underage college kids nor do I encourage “screaming drunken mobs to take over the streets.”
Every single bar and restaurant in Nyack has invested a fortune into their businesses and each one of us work tirelessly to be successful. Every place has their own following crowd. I am there day and night and see every day firsthand exactly what goes on in the heart of Nyack. Yes, we have a thriving downtown late nights in Nyack. Most restaurant businesses count on their late night business to survive Without that business, most restaurants and bars would not survive.
Every single establishment has bouncers, great security and responsible staff to ensure safety, respect, and crowd control. We are all members of Restaurant Row of Rockland and the Chamber of Commerce. We work together to maintain peace and calm throughout the village. We bar unruly patrons from all of our establishments, warn each other if there is any trouble coming up or down Main Street and work closely with Sergeant Stratner and the police force to ensure that we maintain a viable and happy downtown with minimum trouble. Every night we clean the sidewalks of debris and cigarette butts at closing. I do not allow anyone underage to enter my establishment unless they are with adults eating lunch or dinner in the early hours. We are all careful not to serve minors and never encourage underage drinking.
Please remember that many kids who are on the streets of Nyack are just hanging out and have not been a patron of the bars in Nyack. We are responsible for our establishments. The Orangetown Police help watch out what happens on our streets. But perhaps the parents of these kids need to do their part and exercise more control of the underage group.
Embrace Nyack for what we have and work to improve what we could be better. Restricting restaurants hours will hurt, not help our downtown and ultimately force businesses to close. We will all lose if Nyack loses its vitality and charm. It can’t be perfect, but it can be great. And if we work together, the future will be even better.
Marianne Olive owns Hair’s Marianne hair salon and Olive’s restaurant in Nyack, NY.