Earlier this week the owners of a new restaurant in the works at the corner of Essex and Canal went before a committee of Community Board 3 to apply for a liquor license. They describe the concept as "Jewsion," a blend of Jewish and farm fresh cuisine. In their appeal to CB3's SLA (State Liquor Authority) Licensing Committee, the owners said they run a boutique hotel on Irving Place. Their plans call for a 44 seat restaurant and a bar seating 7. The owners said they're not going to be catering to the "hipsters," but want the still unnamed restaurant to be a place families in the neighborhood will want to come. Two sisters and their mom told the committee they hope the restaurant will honor their father, who grew up on the Lower East Side, by embracing the neighborhood's immigrant roots. The committee signaled they would support a full liquor license.
Also at the four hour (shorter than usual) CB3 meeting, "Roots & Vines," the coffee shop on Grand and Clinton won support for its request to stay open until 4am. The restaurant's co-owner, Natalie Krodel, told us this afternoon there are no plans to change the hours, but they wanted the option for the future. Right now, Roots & Vines stays open until 10pm weekdays and 11pm on weekends. Occasionally they host special private events in the evenings and want groups they're hosting to be able to stay a little past the normal closing time. A CB3 committee member, Meghan Joye, spoke in favor of R&V during the meeting, saying it had become a center for the community below Delancey Street. The restaurant is in a shopette owned by the Seward Park co-op but there are no apartments directly above R&V.
Another restaurant, Kuta, at 65 Rivington Street, asked for permission to add a sidewalk cafe. The committee approved but now Kuta must return to CB3 with a request to serve alcohol on the patio.
The full CB3 board still must approve the SLA committee's decisions next week. Their support is only a recommendation. The State Liquor Authority makes the final decisions.
Early in the evening, the meeting turned contentious when several East Village activists pressed the committee to come down harder on restaurants and bars. We'll have more on that later this week.