Saluggi’s Withdraws CB3 Application For Extended Hours

Saluggi's East, 399 Grand St.

Saluggi’s East, 399 Grand St.

It was a rough night for the owners of Saluggi’s East at the monthly meeting of Community Board 3’s liquor licensing committee.

Bill Wall and Christopher Keane opened the pizza restaurant and bar at 399 Grand St. this past September. They had struck an agreement with the local SPaCE Block Association to close on weekends at 2 a.m., with the possibility of extending their hours after six months. Last night, they asked CB3 members to support an application to stay open until 4am on all nights.

But the block association is not supporting the change, at least not right now. Marek Schwedt, a consultant representing Saluggi’s, told community board members that Wall and Keane were “tricked by SPaCE” into signing an agreement to limit hours. He called Wall an “exemplary operator” who has run nightlife establishments in Lower Manhattan for more than 40 years. “I detest that SPaCE is painting this (application) as a ‘bait and switch’,” said Schwedt. He claimed that the block association agreed to support an extension of hours after six months. Saluggi’s, the owners say, is suffering because it must kick customers out at 2 a.m., at which point they head right across the street to another bar (La Flaca) that stays open until 4 a.m.

The Saluggi’s team submitted a letter of support from their landlord, the Seward Park Cooperative. Two longtime community members also testified in favor of the application. Bill Frazer, who runs the flower shop across from Saluggi’s, said he eats there about three days a week. “I would hate to see them leave, said Frazer, “after making a place that’s beneficial for the neighborhood.” Don West, president of the 7th Precinct Community Council, agreed that Saluggi’s is running a good, family-oriented business. West, a former board president of the co-op, criticized Seward Park for insisting on a, “very high rent” for the restaurant. Since residents of the Grand Street cooperative tend not to support local businesses, said West, Saluggi’s must attract customers from other parts of the neighborhood, who expect late night hours.

But Emma Culbert, president of SPaCE, said a 4 a.m. permit “is a different beast” than the original concept pitched by Saluggi’s. “There is genuine concern about what it would turn into,” said Culbert, if extended hours are approved. “The creep of nightlife (southward from the area north of Delancey Street) is a constant concern,” she added. Culbert also said SPaCe never agreed to support a 4 a.m. permit after six months, but only agreed to consider it. A representative of the Orchard Street Block Association also spoke out against the proposal.

A community board member, Lisa Kaplan, said she was worried about what happens if Saluggi’s goes out of business.  “We don’t know who the next applicant would be,” said Kaplan. [While every new nightlife establishment must apply for a permit from the State Liquor Authority, previously licensed locations are usually approved.] 

A public member of the committee, Andrew Chase, also voiced skepticism about the application. Chase lives in the nearby East River Co-op and is co-owner of Cafe Katja on Orchard Street. “This is hard for me to say,” he explained, “but if you are in this for the long haul, you will become successful (without extending your hours).” Chase added, “for me, it’s too much of an ask too soon.”

While acknowledging financial struggles, Christopher Keane, the co-owner, responded that Saluggi’s has no intention of going out of business anytime soon.

Schwedt argued that extended hours could, “mean the difference between life and death,” in a brutal NYC restaurant environment.  In the end, though, the owners reluctantly withdrew their application in the face of stiff opposition from board members.

Full Menu Offered at Saluggi’s After Gas Service is Turned On

saluggis

After weeks of delays, Saluggi’s is finally able to offer its full food menu. The new restaurant at 399 Grand St. (near Clinton Street) opened in early September, but gas service was just turned on this past Friday.

Owner Bill Wall has been making the best of a bad situation, serving drinks and a few food items. Now that issues with Con Ed have been worked out, the pizza ovens have been fired up. Regular pies are available, plus grandma square slices and “create your own brick own” pizzas. Other items on the menu include Buffalo chicken wings, salads, sausage rolls, heroes and traditional pasta dishes (penne alla vodka, baked ziti, etc.)

Wall said delivery service will start in a couple of weeks. Like most brand new restaurants, Saluggi’s is still working through opening-week service issues. So you’ll have to be a little bit patient for a few days.

Saluggi’s has a full bar, a half dozen flat screen televisions for sporting events and a shuffleboard.

Drinks Begin Flowing at Saluggi’s on Grand Street This Weekend

399 Grand St.

399 Grand St.

After months of renovations, local proprietor Bill Wall tells us he’ll be opening his new restaurant and bar, Saluggi’s, to the public tomorrow (Saturday).

For the time being, it’s drinks only (there’s a full bar). Once Wall is able to resolve some issues with gas service, the full food menu will debut.

The new spot at 399 Grand St. is a hybrid of two popular Tribeca establishments — Saluggi’s Pizza and longtime dive bar Nancy’s Whiskey. On the Lower East Side, there’s an 18-foot bar running the length of the restaurant plus shuffleboard. Saluggi’s East is taking over the space formerly occupied by the Comfort Diner and Noah’s Ark Deli.

Saturday hours will be noon to 2 a.m.

Saluggi’s on Grand Street Files For Liquor Permit; Bring on the Shuffleboard!

399 Grand St.

399 Grand St.

Back in March we told you about Saluggi’s, an Italian restaurant coming to the space most recently occupied by the Comfort Diner at 399 Grand St. Now there are a few new details about the new business — from a liquor license application posted on Community Board 3’s website.

The owners are William Wall and Christopher Keane. They both run Saluggi’s on Church Street in Tribeca. Wall is also one of the operators of Nancy Whiskey, the dive bar at 1 Lispenard St.

On Grand Street, they’re requesting a full liquor permit with operating hours during the week from 8 a.m.-1 a.m. and weekends until 2 a.m. They’d like permission to stay open until 2 a.m. on holidays. A main feature of the restaurant will be an 18-seat bar running along the western wall of the space. Like Nancy Whiskey, “Saluggi’s East” will have a shuffleboard table. The menu attached to the application includes brick-oven pizzas, pasta dishes, hero sandwiches, salads and chicken wings.

The application will be considered at the Monday, May 16 meeting of CB3’s liquor licensing committee. It will be held in the community room at 10 Stanton St., at 6:30 p.m. The Comfort Diner closed abruptly last summer after just nine months in business.

NOTE: A previous version of this story indicated that the owners were requesting a 4 a.m. closing time on holidays. We heard from Bill Wall, one of the applicants, who said they’re actually asking for a 2 a.m. closing on holidays; the application uploaded to CB3’s website lists the wrong time.

Saluggi’s Brick Oven Pizza is Coming to 399 Grand St.

saluggis

A Tribeca-based restaurant serving brick oven pizza is coming to 399 Grand St. in a space that was most recently home to the Comfort Diner. Saluggi’s, located on Church Street (near Canal Street), will open a second location on the Lower East Side.

The original spot is a casual, laid back pizza parlor with a full bar. They make their own mozzarella and feature thin-crust pizzas. There’s also a diverse menu, including pastas, sandwiches and even chicken wings. In Serious Eats, James Boo wrote of the pizza:

Cracker thin at its point yet completely taut throughout, it maintains a light crunch and a consistent chew. As the textural backbone of a slice, it couldn’t be stronger. After spreading a tangy tomato sauce over their pizza dough, Saluggi’s cooks sprinkle grated Parmesan into the mix, then toss chunks of of house-made mozzarella on top until almost every inch is covered. Legendary it ain’t, but the quality of ingredients and attention to detail show when I’m handed a piping hot slice, hit with an extra pinch of Parmesan and topped with fresh basil leaves. It’s a slice that balances form and function, delivering quality, quantity and simplicity for $3.00.

The Comfort Diner closed abruptly last summer after just nine months in business. The space is owned by the Seward Park Co-op. A lease was just finalized with the team from Saluggi’s. We’ll let you know when we have details about the plan for the LES branch and a projected opening date.

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“The Comfort” is Closed Until After Labor Day (Updated)

State Liquor Authority Grants Comfort Diner 4 a.m. Liquor License

Comfort Diner Plans Expanded Hours in Next Two Weeks

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Comfort Diner Begins Construction, Plans Labor Day Opening

Architectural drawings for the renovation of 399 Grand St., the former Noah's Ark Deli.

Architectural drawings for the renovation of 399 Grand St., the former Noah’s Ark Deli.

There’s nothing new to see at 399 Grand St. yet, but the plans are drawn and the permits secured. Any minute now, the demolition of the old Noah’s Ark Deli and the construction of the new Comfort Diner will begin.

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Follow-Up: Comfort Diner Owner Details Plans for Grand Street

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