Nightlife Notes: Liquor License Applications

Black Tree Sandwich Shop, a veteran of the New Amsterdam Market and currently serving out of a Brooklyn bar, will open as a proper restaurant on Orchard Street.

The liquor licensing subcommittee of Community Board 3 meets Monday night to consider this month’s round of alcohol permit applications. A few noteworthy agenda items now have some details posted online (see below). The presentations by applicants begin at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 at the JASA/Green Residence, 200 E. Fifth St. (at Bowery). Read the full agenda here.

131 Orchard St.: Matthew Roff, Macnair Sillick and Anthony Spangler plan to open Black Tree, a sandwich shop, in a former retail store. The proprietors have peddled their sandwiches, featuring locally sourced ingredients, at events such as the New Amsterdam market. The Orchard Street restaurant will be their first permanent brick-and-mortar restaurant. They plan to be open until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends, with 10 tables seating 20 diners. They are applying for a full bar permit. Roff is the principal in four other establishments with active licenses, including Brooklyn’s The Crown Inn, where Black Tree’s sandwiches are also served.

Sandy Relief: Yes, You Can Still Do Something Useful

For our neighbors in Queens, Staten Island and other areas, life is still far from normal.

With this morning’s good news about the situation at Knickerbocker Village finally improving, the Lower East Side is mostly recovered from Hurricane Sandy. But more than two weeks after the storm roared ashore in New York Harbor, there are still many New Yorkers in desperate need of help of all kinds. Below are a few options of ways to help in the next week or two. Check out the NYC Sandy Needs website for a more detailed, constantly updated list of volunteer and donation opportunities.

Destination: LES – Bracing For a Hotel Building Boom

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the November issue of The Lo-Down’s print magazine.

Along upper Orchard Street one sparkling fall afternoon last month, young shoppers strolled in stilettos, popping in and out of the tiny, trendy boutiques that seem to multiply overnight lately. The perfume of fresh-cut flowers banked along a new corner bodega wafted down the block, overlaid with the pungent smell of roasted garlic from one of the pizza joints. Shopkeepers hawked leather goods on the sidewalk while workers hammered away inside Mi Casa Es Su Casa, yet another new restaurant opening soon. A woman with a suitcase asked directions to The Hotel on Rivington. A few blocks south, a group of tourists set out from the Tenement Museum for a walking tour of the way things used to be.

This eclectic mix — of the fashionable and the old-fashioned, the outgoing and the up-and-coming — forms a large part of the Lower East Side’s charm and draw. Combined with cheaper real estate prices than most of the rest of Manhattan and easy public transit access to  more tourist-centric parts of the city, the neighborhood’s character helps paint a portrait of a place that developers could envision new hotels succeeding.

Morning Reads: Inside Con Ed During Sandy, Move Your Car Today, Union Market Opens

  • An inside look at Con Edison’s operations, including the transformer explosion on 14th Street that blew out the LES’s lights, during and in the aftermath of Sandy. (Fortune)
  • Alternate side parking rules return to the LES today — and they apply to cars submerged in Sandy, operable or not. (DNA Info)
  • Community Board 3’s transportation committee meets tonight to discuss, in great detail, the new Starbucks benches on First Avenue. (EVGrieve)



Raul Barrera Sentenced: 25 Years to Life

Raul Barrera following his arrest last year.

There is finally closure in the grisly, violent death of 23-year-old Sarah Coit, who was murdered in her Lower East Side apartment on April 10, 2011. Coit’s 35-year-old boyfriend, Raul Barrera, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the second degree in September, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced yesterday.

Coit was stabbed more than 30 times in her head and torso.

“The defendant killed an innocent young woman and changed a family forever,” Vance said in a prepared statement. “This case illustrates the sobering fact that domestic violence can quickly turn fatal, and that the most dangerous time for a victim is when she or he tries to leave a relationship. Shockingly, this murder was one of 92 such ‘family-related homicides’ in New York City in 2011.”

Knickerbocker Village Expects Full Power Today; Management Promises Rent Breaks

Knickerbocker Village residents gathered at P.S. 1.

The residents of Knickerbocker Village are no longer suffering in obscurity. Last night, they came in droves to P.S.1 on Henry Street for a meeting organized by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was there, as were City Council member Margaret Chin, State Senator Daniel Squadron and several television stations. The star of the show, however, was James Simmons, an executive with Knickerbocker Village’s owner, AREA Property Partners.

After two weeks mostly without electricity, heat and hot water, Simmons told residents of the 1,600-apartment affordable housing complex what they wanted to hear. First, he said, engineers hope to have all electrical power back by tomorrow and heat and hot water by the end of the week.  Second, Simmons promised, “we will ensure that not a penny of rent is paid on days in which you did not have essential services.”

Good Morning!

View of the old Domino Sugar Factory. Photo by Marijke Briggs

It will be mostly sunny today but a bit chilly, with a high of 50 degrees.  Keep on pluggin’!