Nom Wah Tea Parlor: Waiting on a Liquor License

He waited… and waited… and waited. Finally at 2:30 a.m. – eight hours after arriving at Community Board 3’s liquor licensing hearing last week – Wilson Tang won the committee’s approval for a beer and wine license.  Last Friday, I stopped by the historic Nom Wah Tea Parlor (est. 1920) to check in with Tang, who recently reopened the restaurant after completing a major restoration of the Chinatown institution.

Was the wait worth it? Wilson says “yes,” although it will probably be a couple of months before the State Liquor Authority signs off on his application.  Nom Wah is not following in the footsteps of its naughty neighbor, Apotheke.   Some customers have simply been requesting a beer or a glass of wine with their dim sum — and Tang wanted to accommodate them.

On Friday, the “New York Times Effect” was readily apparent. Following last week’s “$25 and Under” column, every table was filled throughout the lunch hour.  The clientele was mixed: some Chinatown regulars, some tourists, a few uptown visitors.