Cafe Petisco Seeks Full Liquor License

Cafe Petisco, 189 East Broadway.

Cafe Petisco, the Mediterranean-accented restaurant at 189 East Broadway, has applied for a full liquor license.  The popular neighborhood spot across from Seward Park already has a beer and wine permit, but next month the operators will ask Community Board 3 for an upgrade. The restaurant does a brisk breakfast, lunch and early dinner business, but is usually not very busy in the latter part of the evening.

Last summer, the owners of Eastwood, a bar opening soon at 221 East Broadway (a block east of Petisco) successfully won CB3 approval for a full liquor license in spite of opposition from some local residents and Primitive Christian Church.   The situation is a bit different this time around.  For one thing, Cafe Petisco is an established business, rather than a new venture.  Second, it’s a restaurant — not a bar.  We have a call into Petisco’s owners to find out more about their plans.


Op/Ed: Neighborhood Groups Should Have a Larger Role in Liquor License Decision-Making

Photo collage depicting nightlife debauchery – presented by LES Dwellers Association at community meeting this week.

Editor’s note: For the past couple of years Community Board 3 has been developing new policies for liquor license applications.  This coming Tuesday night, the conversation will continue during a public hearing to address how to handle sections of the neighborhood that have become over-saturated with bars and clubs. The meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m., at 59 East 4th Street, CB3’s office.  Today, we have an op/ed from community activist K. Webster concerning some of the topics likely to come up during next week’s hearing:

The SLA Committee of CB3 draws fire from everyone -whatever the outcome.  They are up late trying to navigate between residents and nightlife operators, a thankless task, and wind up the target of all of our ire. We need clearer policy and we need to add different players to this body.

We have local bar, restaurant, and club owners on the committee. Their expertise and viewpoints can be invaluable. We also need the perspectives of other community leaders. We need at least equal membership from experienced block association presidents. They will have a resident’s perspective but also experience working with many kinds of retail businesses. We need people who have histories of resolving disputes while standing firm on what makes a block work.

CB3’s November Liquor License Agenda: Cheeky Sandwiches Expands, Shamlian Tries Again

Din Yates, owner of Cheeky Sandwiches. Photo by

The docket for Community Board 3’s liquor license hearing is now online. Among the applicants: Din Yates of Cheeky Sandwiches at 35 Orchard Street, who’s going for a wine/beer license. Din has been planning to offer all-day breakfast service in the lower level of his quirky New Orleans-style sandwich shop.  Also of note: Rob Shamlian is back on the agenda for an additional liquor permit at Tiny Fork, his oyster bar at 167 Orchard Street.  Shamlian was scheduled to appear before CB3 this month, but withdrew his application.   Click through for the full agenda.

CB3 Approves New Liquor Licensing Rules

CB3 held hearings on liquor licensing policy last summer and fall.

Last night Community Board 3 voted to put in place comprehensive new policies that could have a dramatic impact on the nightlife industry on the Lower East Side for years to come.  The revised rules, governing how CB3’s SLA Committee evaluates liquor license applications, are intended to streamline and standardize a process that has been harshly criticized by bar owners and community activists alike as inconsistent and capricious.

Reversing a decision made at the committee level last week, the full board decided to phase out the controversial practice of automatically transferring licenses from one operator to another. During a heated meeting last Wednesday, CB3 member and bar owner David McWater persuaded his colleagues to make the practice official community board policy. But last night, key members of the panel changed their minds. Acting on a proposal from longtime CB3 member David Crane, the full board then voted 37-0-3-1, to throw out the automatic transfer language (there were 3 abstentions; one member did not vote).

CB3’s March Liquor License Applications

From the in-box: the agenda for next month’s Community Board 3 SLA Committee:

Monday, March 14 at 6:30pm — JASA/Green Residence – 200 East 5th Street at Bowery
applicant’s name follow by current owner if applicable

1.  Review of 2010 goals and accomplishments/committee goals for 2011

2. Resolution to SLA regarding undue burden on Community Boards of waivers for 30-renewal notices, and undue burden  to businesses of penalty of closing businesses if renewal is late.

Irish Pub Owners Set Sights on 10 Delancey Street

Coming up Monday, it’s the Valentine’s Day Massacre, otherwise known as Community Board 3’s SLA Committee meeting.  How romantic!

Here’s one application that’s bound to attract some attention from the committee. Agenda item #19 — a request from brothers Martin and Mark Whelan for a full bar at 10-12 Delancey Street, the tenement next to the Bowery Ballroom.  These guys are best known for Irish pubs like Stout NYC (the “Superdome of taverns”) in Herald Square, St. Andews and Maggie’s Place.

They want to call their Lower East Side bar One Mile House (sound familiar, Bowery history buffs?). There would be 17 tables, a 20 seat bar and a backyard patio.  On their application, the food is described as “comfort/gastropub” fare. The bar would be open from noon-4am daily.

CB3’s SLA Committee meeting takes place Monday at 630pm, at the JASA/Green Houses, 200 East 5th Street.

CB3 Panel Approves Cafe Charbon Transfer, Souvalki GR, Rejects La Vie

EV Grieve and Eater have the scoop from last night’s Community Board 3 liquor license hearing.  The big bombshell: Cafe Charbon (168 Orchard) is changing hands. “The team behind The Stumble Inn, Off the Wagon, Gin Mill, Jake’s Dilemma, Down the Hatch and The 13th Step” is taking taking over the space,” Grieve reported. No word on the new name or the concept. It’ll be open until 4am and have occasional dj’s. The SLA Committee approved the transfer unanimously.

Also last night, the owners of Barraza Foods (Jersey City) were approved to take over 198B Orchard, formerly Eddie Huang’s Xiao Ye. Taqueria Lower East Side will be open until 1:30am on weekends.

Souvalki GR had no trouble convincing the CB3’s panel to support a wine/beer license for their tiny storefront at 116 Stanton. The highly regarded food truck operators will close at 11pm, 1am on weekends.

Earlier in the evening, there was ugliness as Le Vie, the club at 64 East 1st Street, unsuccessfully lobbied for a license renewal. This one ended in accusations of racism. Grieve has the sordid details.

Followup: 7th Precinct’s Nightlife Crackdown

On Monday, we reported about the 7th Precinct’s new crackdown on the Lower East Side’s bars and clubs.  At a Community Board 3 meeting last night, District Manager Susan Stetzer offered a bit more information.  She said the precinct has reinstated its cabaret unit, a special squad assigned to deal specifically with nightlife-related issues.

The unit was formed to combat an uptick in crime inside some of the neighborhood’s bars. As 7th Precinct Deputy Inspector Nancy Barry explained during a community meeting a few days ago, there have been quite a few reports of stolen purses, cell phones and other items from LES establishments in recent months.

CB3′s October Agenda: Dans Le Noir Nixed?

Community Board 3 has posted its October meeting agenda, including an unusually short list of applicants seeking liquor licenses. But, as usual, there are some interesting items warranting further investigation.  Here’s one entry that caught our eye: “Mama Juana Cafe,” applying for a full liquor license at 107 Norfolk Street (pictured). This is the building that used to house Tonic, the popular music club. In August, you may recall, CB3’s SLA Committee signaled its support for another restaurant at this location — blind dining concept franchise “Dans Le Noir.” At the time, the applicants suggested they had not finalized a lease at 107 Norfolk. 

CB3’s September Liquor License Applications

A restaurant is planned for 185 Orchard, below the Thompson LES Hotel.

Here’s an early look at some of the bars and restaurants going before Community Board 3’s SLA Committee in September. For the complete list, visit CB3’s web site.

More on the New Mexican Restaurant at 384 Grand

Quite a few people seem to be curious about the restaurant replacing Two Boots Tavern at 385 Grand Street. A couple of weeks ago we reported the owners of a new venture put up a petition on the door of the shuttered restaurant — asking neighbors to support their liquor license application before Community Board 3 next month.  CB3 has already heard from a few residents concerned about the establishment’s 4am closing time.

Yesterday, we talked with Daniela Libertini, who’s planning to open the New Mexican-style cantina along this lonely stretch of Grand Street with her fiance, Bobby Gonzales.  She told me the menu will be made up of simple, home-style dishes — many of them featuring New Mexico’s much sought after hatch chile.  Think tacos, enchiladas, Mexican-style corn on the cob, guacamole, nachos and hot cheese dip — among other offerings. The place will be called La Flaca (Mexican for skinny girl).

CB3/August: Liquor License Applications

Here’s an early look at some of the bars/restaurants seeking Community Board 3’s approval of their liquor license applications. The SLA Committee meets August 16th, 630pm at the JASA/Green Residence, 200 East 5th Street.

  • DBGB, 299 Bowery – sidewalk cafe license
  • Pike Street Fish Fry, 122 Ludlow – wine/beer license in a restricted area
  • Via Tribunali Pizza, 124 Ludlow – wine/beer license in a restricted area
  • BDShea Grand LLC, 384 Grand Street – transfer full bar from Two Boots Tavern
  • Rewind, 137 Essex – alternations, full bar, reduction of kitchen
  • Residencia, 225 East Houston – transfer full bar from Element
  • Spitzer’s Corner, 101 Rivington – transfer full bar
  • Pizzeria de Santo, 173 Ludlow – alternations, full bar (currently the Italian spot, Tre)
  • Dans Le Noir, 107 Norfolk – full liquor (formerly Tonic)
  • Full House Cafe, 97 Bowery – wine license

The full agenda isn’t posted on CB3’s web site just yet, but you’ll be able to see it there shortly.

CB3 Schedules “Policy Meeting” For Liquor Licensing Committee

As we reported last month, Community Board 3 has decided its time to revisit the policies of its SLA Committee, which evaluates bar/restaurant liquor licenses. That meeting has now been scheduled for Thursday, August 19th, 630pm at University Settlement’s Houston Street Center, 273 Bowery.

New Proposal for Amato Opera Building

Amato Opera

Image from New York Daily Photo's Flickr photostream.

As we mentioned earlier this morning, the former home of the beloved Amato Opera, 319 Bowery, is destined to become a new theater and restaurant. As Anthony Amato approached his 90th birthday last year, he made the difficult decision to call it quits, selling the building for $3.7 million to a new owner.

CB3 Bar Battles: Another Long, Hot Night Ahead on East 5th Street

In a few short hours, CB3’s SLA Committee will convene for another marathon meeting. There are only 19 applications to review this evening but, looks can be deceiving. As EV Grieve reported last week, neighborhood activists are planning a major show of force against at least one bar, Sin Sin/Leopard Lounge, on 2nd Avenue.

The bar, on the corner of 2nd & 5th Street, is seeking to transfer a liquor license. Stuart Zamsky, president of the East 5th Street Block Association, organized a petition/letter writing campaign. Among their grievances: screaming, fighting, loud music and drug use in the late night hours, especially on weekends.