“For Sale” Signs Go Up Outside “The Derby” on Orchard Street

Rob Shamlian’s “Tiny Fork” Heads Back to CB3; Here’s the Menu

167 Orchard Street. October 2012.

167 Orchard Street. October 2012.

Tiny Fork, the new restaurant and nightlife spot in the Slipper Room building, is back on next month’s community board agenda.  Controversial club owner Rob Shamlian, along with Frank Vivolo (who owned the dearly departed Bruschetta) are expected to open the oyster bar any day. They’ve already got a liquor license for the main floor. Now team Shamlian is seeking permission for a second bar on the lower level. The application was supposed to be heard last fall, but the applicants withdrew.

Shamlian, who owns Spitzer’s Corner, Fat Baby and Los Feliz, has always had contentious relations with local residents, who complain about the rowdy crowds and drunken revelers his establishments tend to attract.

If you’re interested, the menu for the Tiny Fork is now online. The cold bar includes, predictably, oysters as well as a prawn cocktail, Alaskan King Crab and a lobster roll.   On the very limited hot menu: oyster sliders, crab cakes and beer battered fried lobster tail.


Rob Shamlian Withdraws Liquor Permit Application For Lounge at 167 Orchard Street

167 Orchard Street.

The other day we mentioned that a new block association, the LES Dwellers Association, is helping residents fight a liquor license application at 167 Orchard Street (at Stanton).   Rob Shamlian (Spitzer’s Corner, Fat Baby, etc.) and Frank Vivolo (Bruschetta) are opening “Tiny Fork,” an oyster bar in the new Slipper Room building.  Community Board 3 signed off on a liquor license for the establishment many months ago, but the operators were seeking  a second license for a lower level lounge, and planned to go before CB3’s SLA Committee Monday night. But now the application has been withdrawn.

Members of LES Dwellers suspect Shamlian and company made note of community opposition and decided to hold off on the application until the neighbors aren’t paying such close attention.  But the organization’s leader, Diem Boyd says “we will be watching.”   Although CB3 approved the initial license in 2010,  it’s still listed on the State Liquor Authority’s web site as “pending.”

Moldy Fig, Rob Shamlian, Co-Op Food & Drink, Patate Fellow

  • After several delays, jazz joint and cafe Moldy Fig at 178 Stanton St. had a soft opening over the weekend. Beer, wine, live jazz and shuffleboard are operational; official opening is July 4, and the full kitchen comes online sometime next month as well. The Alex Hoffman Quartet performs tonight at 8 p.m.
  • Goodbye LES, hello Brooklyn: Rob Shamlian says enough already with the Lower East Side. Next project? His new beer garden in Greenpoint, where things are “happier.”
  • Early reviews of Co-Op Food & Drink: The prices are high, the service is slow and there might be cocaine on the bathroom floor.
  • Patate Fellow is gone from 71 Clinton Street, but proprietor Toshi Cappuccino has opened a Japanese joint called Hachember.
  • How much is a good review worth? Grub Street puts the money where the critics’ mouths are.
  • Eater declares the death of 10 NYC food trends; among them, Painkiller’s tiki trendiness and most banh mi sandwiches, excepting, of course, BaoHaus.
  • Good Samaritans at Schiller’s rat out a bike vandal.


CB3 Approves New Joint in Mason Dixon Space

At last night’s Community Board 3 meeting, there was more drama surrounding Mason Dixon, the always controversial-now defunct bar at 133 Essex Street. In the end, the board voted (31-3, with 1 abstention) to approve nightlife operator Matt Levine’s proposal to take over the troubled spot.

Now the State Liquor Authority must decide whether to grant a liquor license for a still-to-be named restaurant.  Residents living in the apartments above Mason Dixon, who are suing current owner Rob Shamlian, strongly objected to the new establishment’s proposed 4 a.m. closing time.

Last night’s debate was similar to the discussion that took place during an SLA Committee hearing earlier in the month. We won’t rehash the whole Mason Dixon saga here (you can read our previous coverage for background).

There were, however, some new wrinkles during the full board meeting. At one point, David McWater, a CB3 member and bar owner, rose to his feet in an angry confrontation with members of 133 Essex’s board of directors.  The question at hand: did residents who bought apartments know beforehand that there was going to be a bar featuring a mechanical bull on the ground floor of their building?  The residents said “no.”  Raising his voice and speaking over condo board president Wesley Gaus, McWater asked, “did you find out before or after” purchasing an apartment?  Although his explanation was mostly drowned out, Gaus said he and other residents had not been aware of the bar until it was too late to do anything about it.

Mason Dixon Back Open, but Only on Weekends

Photo credit: An Aussie Girl in New York.













Mason Dixon is finally back open, after being shut down by the NYPD for alleged underage drinking violations April 8th.  But the mechanical bull party on Essex Street appears to be coming to an end. Grub Street spoke with Mason Dixon owner Rob Shamlian about the ordeal and the future of the nortorious nightlife establishment.

Follow-up: the NYPD’s Case Against Mason Dixon

This past Friday night, we broke the news that two Lower East Side bars – Mason Dixon and Los Feliz – were shut down by the 7th Precinct for alleged underage drinking violations. After having a look at court documents, we have a more complete picture this afternoon of the allegations being made by the NYPD.

According to the complaint, undercover (and underage) auxiliary officers have been served alcohol at Mason Dixon, which is owned by Rob Shamlian, on at least two separate occasions (in February and March).  In one instance, city attorneys claimed, alcohol was being served past 4 a.m., which is not permitted under New York state law.

The complaint also recounts several fights that broke out inside and outside the bar in December of last year and in January of this year. On Dec. 4, the document states, a fight “resulted in one person being punched and kicked by five other patrons” (they were arrested and charged with assault). Two nights later, police reported, a “patron was struck in the head with a beer bottle… causing pain and bleeding which required immediate medical attention.”

CB3 Panel Approves Bowery Steakhouse

Community Board 3’s SLA Committee breezed through a short agenda last night in record time. They approved a full liquor license at 241 Bowery for a steakhouse from Motorino’s Mathieu Polombino. There were not a lot of new details about the concept. An Eater operative/intern was told the menu is being “kept under wraps for now.”  A lawyer representing Polombino emphasized  the restaurant would be next door to the Sunshine Hotel (one of the last SRO’s left on the Bowery), NOT directly beneath the hotel. They hope to add a sidewalk cafe at some point.

Also, a proposal from the guys behind Los Feliz to take over the Bunny Chow space at 74 Orchard got the green light. Andrew Boose outlined plans to open a casual neighborhood spot where you’ll be able to get a burger and fries, fish and chips and spaghetti and meatballs.