It’s Last Call at PKNY

The tiki bar formerly known as Painkiller is closing in the next two weeks.

PKNY Tiki Bar Faces Underage Drinking Charges

PKNY, 49 Essex Street.

It was a busy night for the NYPD on the Lower East Side.  As we already reported, the 7th Precinct delivered a restraining order to Lolita, the bar at 266 Broome Street.  The business now faces a civil lawsuit for alleged underage drinking violations.  Cops were also on the scene at PKNY, the artisanal tiki bar at 49 Essex Street.

We’re told PKNY was not forced to shut down, but its owners do have an upcoming court date to answer the city’s charges.  The violations occurred during visits by undercover auxiliary police officers.  City attorneys will likely ask the owners to beef up security and screening for underage drinkers in exchange for dropping the suit.

The bar opened as “Painkiller,” three years ago and later changed its name to PKNY due to a lawsuit.  The liquor license is listed on the State Liquor Authority’s web site under the names Richard Boccato and Sasha Petraske (the info may be outdated; Petraske reportedly sold his interest at 49 Essex long ago).  We contacted Boccato this morning for comment. No word yet.


Restaurant Report Card: June 2011

Here at The Lo-Down, we know our readers care a lot about our local restaurants. We are all fortunate to live, work and play in a neighborhood full of interesting places to eat and drink. We welcome the new ones and look forward to giving them a try; we grieve the loss of old favorites; and we love to analyze all the ones in between. The second Wednesday of each month, we post a summary of the previous month’s health department inspections for eateries in the 10002 ZIP code. Click through to read the June report.

Health Department Shuts Essex Street Tiki Bar PKNY

Authorities returned to PKNY at 49 Essex St. last night and shut it down.

It’s been a tough few weeks for PKNY, the Lower East Side tiki bar formerly known as Painkiller. On top of losing its former name in a federal lawsuit over trademarks in late May, city health officials issued it terrible inspection report earlier this month. Even though the beloved one-year-old artisan cocktail bar received a passing score on a subsequent inspection, authorities arrived late last night and closed it down.

Notices on the door this morning attribute the closure to “operating without a permit.” The cleaning crew on site a few minutes ago said they understood it to be a temporary problem and that the bar would open up in a few days. They did not want to be identified, and referred questions to the owners.

PKNY Tiki Bar Earns a B on Health Dept. Re-inspection

The LES tiki bar formerly known as Painkiller apparently has addressed most of the sanitation issues that earned it 101 violation points from the city health department earlier this month. In its second inspection in 10 days on Monday, the artisan cocktail outlet on Essex Street earned only 24 points, a B on the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s graded scale.

Painkiller vs. Pusser’s: Rum Company Responds to Critics

Over the last six days, since we broke the news about LES bar Painkiller losing its name in trademark litigation, bartenders and tiki geeks around the world have weighed in across the web to criticize the legal action and propose a boycott of the British Virgin Islands rum manufacturer that sued.

Last night, the founder and owner of Pusser’s Rum Ltd., Charles Tobias, finally responded.

Painkiller vs. Pusser’s: Blog-Rolling the Tiki Battle


In the 48 hours since we broke the story of Painkiller’s legal battle with a British Virgin Islands rum manufacturer, supporters of the beloved LES tiki bar have taken to their keyboards. Twitter went wild with the news, and as of today, there are at least three Facebook pages dedicated to punishing Pusser’s Rum Ltd. To recap: Pusser’s demanded, successfully, in federal court that Painkiller surrender the name of its bar, the name of its signature drink and its website domain to protect trademarks it holds. Pusser’s sells cocktails and mixers using the Painkiller name, and claims its rum uses the same recipe as that doled out by the British Royal Navy to its seamen as far back as the 17th century.

Painkiller’s Supporters Launch Boycott of Pusser’s Rum

Bartenders have launched a boycott of Pusser's Rum in support of Painkiller tiki bar.

In response to our story yesterday, which was picked up by Eater and other major food blogs as well as the New York Times, a group calling itself “Bartenders Against Pusser’s Rum” has started a Facebook page to launch a boycott of the British Virgin Islands rum manufacturer that forced Lower East Side tiki bar Painkiller to change its name and give up its website as a result of a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Health Inspection Turns Up Trouble at Tiki Bar Painkiller

Health inspectors gave Painkiller (aka PKNY) 101 points for nine violations during a visit Friday.

Following on the heels of settling a federal lawsuit over trademark infringement last month, Lower East Side tiki bar Painkiller faces another kind of trouble in the wake of a health department inspection Friday. The bar drew 101 violation points for a variety of serious sanitation issues.

The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene cited it for nine violations. Seven were labeled “critical,” including water and ice that was not potable or drawn from an unapproved source, food being handled with bare hands, the presence of live roaches, inadequate hand-washing facilities, and a lack of food protection certification for the supervisor of food operations.