Back in 2000, NY politicians, namely Chuck Schumer, stopped the NRA from opening a fabulous themed restaurant and sporting game zone in Times Square. Chuck Schumer and Carolyn Maloney and other New York politicians found it more offensive to allow the construction of a restaurant and theme park by a group that supports the second amendment than they find a trophy mosque at the sacred site of the largest Islamic attack on American soil. What a difference a mosque makes -- now Schumer weasels out by saying that politicians shouldn't be involved in local zoning disputes............. (thanks to Evan Coyne Maloney for the heads up)
Schumer and co. stopped the NRA, which had hoped to spend millions to join Disney, the All-Star Cafe, and Loews movie theaters in Times Square, one of the world's busiest business districts. Their spokesman at the time said that their theme store would be the "biggest presence in Times Square."
Leaders of the gun lobbying organization said on Friday that they wanted to open a restaurant and gift shop much like Planet Hollywood and ESPN Zone, except with firearms as the theme. The restaurant would feature wild game, as would the arcade, the association said.
Democratic lawmakers and gun control advocates have condemned the proposal, saying it is an N.R.A. attempt to interest children in guns.
At a news conference with Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat, he said he hoped landlords in the neighborhood would not rent to the association.
Mr. Schumer said that if the N.R.A. did move into Times Square, he would push the city or the state to revoke any tax breaks that the property owners receive.
Once again Check Schumer shows himself to be a quisling opportunist and hypocrite:
Democratic New York Sen. Charles Schumer, one of the NRA's fiercest critics, believes guns and Times Square are a dangerous combination.
"You've got young people, bars ... to glorify shooting." Chuck Schumer may, 2000
But a mosque that glorifies jihad at Ground Zero is ok?
One story that was well covered was the N.R.A.'s proposal to open a theme restaurant in Times Square. This came to the notice of The New Yorker 's Talk of the Town, which welcomed the N.R.A. to the neighborhood. (Not!) For 30 years, we ceded Times Square to vagrants, whores and smut merchants. But let Charlton Heston try to set up shop there, and we know how to protect our public spaces (Observer, 2000)
It's more offensive to have a restaurant operated by a group that supports the second amendment than it is to have a trophy mosque at the sacred site of the largest islamic attack on American soil.
The National Rifle Association's plan to debut a highprofile sports shooting concept and restaurant in the heart of Times Square is getting low ratings from the city's restaurant community even before the operation opens its doors.
Restaurateurs around the city lent their voices to the swelling chorus of NRASports Blast naysayers -- which includes Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y; and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-Long Island.
Bill Powers, director of public affairs for the Fairfax, Va.-based National Rifle Association, contended that the adverse reaction so far "is all politics. It doesn't have anything to do with this venture."
Powers said that 40 million people in this country participate in shooting sports every year. "They shoot for fun," he said. "[NRASports Blast] provides a venue for people who enjoy that sport. This isn't about politics."
The concept was unveiled officially a few weeks ago at the NRA's annual convention in Charlotte, N.C., in a videotape featuring the group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre. However, NRASports Blast has been in the planning stages for several months, Powers explained.
And while Powers noted that the Manhattan NRASports Blast could be the inaugural link in a national chain, he added, "We're focused on Times Square right now.
"We've been up in New York, looking at several potential sites," he said. "And we've already begun negotiations on some of them."
While Powers declined to comment on any individual sites, he allowed that the concept would require a lot of space. "It will be a large venue," he said. "Quite possibly three floors."
Space in the revitalized Times Square area does not come cheaply, however. Alan Stillman, chairman of the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group in New York, estimated that the NRA is looking at area rents that range anywhere from $150 to $300 a square foot. "Once they've figured out what the concept is, what it will cost and how much money they are going to lose, it will never happen," he predicted.
Zagat, in fact, estimated that the organization could end up paying $7 million a year in rent.
High lease costs notwithstanding, Powers maintained that plans for NRASports Blast are well under way. The concept will comprise three separate areas: a shooting sports area featuring virtual target-shooting games, such as traps and skeet; a retail area for merchandising branded clothing and outdoor-related gear; and a restaurant. The menu will feature wild game and mineral waters from around the world, he said.
"It will be a place where visitors can walk in, check out some clothing, do a little target shooting and have a buffalo burger," Powers said. "They'll be able to grab a bite to eat that they couldn't get elsewhere."
While pricing has not yet been determined, Powers said the NRA was targeting check averages that would "appeal to a majority of people."
N.Y. calls NRA's plan a misfire June 28, 2000
NEW YORK - The National Rifle Association wants to open a sports merchandise store, virtual skeet-shooting gallery and wild game grill in Times Square. New Yorkers seem to have one word for the idea: "Fuhgeddaboudit."
Wayne La Pierre, the NRA's polemical executive director, announced the retail venture at the group's annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C., last month. He likened NRASports Blast to the ESPN Zone's sports palace and the World Wrestling Federation's store and restaurant that occupy corners of Times Square.
Opponents have a different view of it altogether.
The hypocrisy is universal on the left. Back in 2000, Arianna Huffington was against the NRA mega store in Times Square too. But now the Huff Po is leading the fight for the mega mosque.