CB3 Recap: Piano’s Team Denied, EMM Group Withdraws, Eastwood Approved

Piano’s, 158 Ludlow Street. Image via Piano’s web site.

It was another lengthy and contentious evening at Community Board 3′s liquor licensing committee meeting.  We’ll have a more detailed wrap-up later, but a few highlights now.  First the panel opposed a plan by the operators of Piano’s, 158 Ludlow Street, to turn the neighboring “LIving Room” space into a kind of dinner theater venue.  A number of residents testified against the Piano’s team, saying they have not been good neighbors and are a bad influence on the street.

Also, Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm of the EMM Group tussled with the committee and residents for more than two hours before reluctantly withdrawing their application.  The operators of clubby venues “Bow,” “The General,” and “Finale” (all at 199 Bowery), wanted to move the dance floor (currently in the basement) to the back of the ground floor.  Although they contended this move would allow for better soundproofing, residents in apartments above the big nightlife operation were not appeased, to say the least.  Some committee members were reluctant to approve the alterations because they said it would basically “legitimize” the EMM Group’s “illegal operations.” They began using the back space for dancing without CB3 or state approval.

Finally, Sivan Harlap and Andrew States won approval from the committee for a beer and wine license at “Eastwood,” their new place at 221 East Broadway.  Months ago, CB3 approved a full liquor license but the State Liquor Authority decided the bar was too close to a synagogue and church (and therefore prohibited by state law).  Residents, who wanted shorter hours (Eastwood plans to close at 4 a.m.) vowed to take their case to the SLA.