Neighbors in the News: Farid Ali-Lancheros Joins NYSRA & Dr. Justin Bazan Makes Eye Exams a Little Happier

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farid ali-lancheros via bogota bistro

Two prominent neighbors and business-owners are making headlines this week.

Farid Ali-Lancheros, the co-owner of Bogota Latin Bistro, was recently voted to the Board of Directors of the New York State Restaurant Association. The NYSRA is the oldest and most comprehensive professional organization for restaurant management and advocacy in New York State, according to the press release, and Farid speaks excitedly about joining:

“I helped create Bogota Latin Bistro to elevate Colombian cuisine and present its traditional dishes to the American masses,” said Ali-Lancheros. “I am honored to join the NYSRA Board of Directors and am ready to get to work representing all restauranteurs in the city.”

Farid and business partner George Constantinou Fernandez were recognized by the Business Outreach Center last year for creation within the community, as well as their commitment to ethical values in business management.

Dr. Justin Bazan of Park Slope Eye was recognized by the New York Post for offering community support in a less conventional way– namely, by making eye exams a little more fun with the help of some booze:

justin bazan via angel chevrestt

Patients are offered tea, snacks and craft brews on arrival. Most finish their libations in the lobby, but Bazan allows unfinished ales in the exam room, too. One recent patient wanted to get pie-eyed after a hard day and asked for something stronger. Bazan took out a bottle of Jack Daniel’s — left over from an art show held at the lens shop — and poured him Jack and Coke.

And the customers seem to appreciate it. Ingrid Alvarez tells the Post that it’s nice to be able to “take a load off” while going for an exam, and Vikii Wong tweets the article, saying, “I love it & Park Slope Eye!”

Though a spokeswoman for the state Office of the Professions tells the Post that Justin isn’t breaking any rules by serving an alcoholic beverage to a patient, a State Liquor Authority spokesman says that businesses with a capacity of 20 or more need a liquor license, whether or not they’re selling the drinks.

They haven’t been stopped yet, though, so it’s something to keep in mind when it’s time for your check-up. Their refrigerator is stocked and ready!

Photo of Farid Ali-Lancheros via Bogota Bistro; photo of Dr. Justin Bazan via Angel Chevrestt/NY Post

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