This evening, Jesse Hartman will return to the Community Board 3 committee that reviews liquor licenses, hoping the second time will be a charm. Last month, he withdrew his request for a liquor license for a proposed restaurant at 365 Grand Street, due to opposition from several LES residents. The concerns centered around the potential for noise coming from the restaurant’s backyard, which is in the shadow of the Seward Park Co-op. There were also reservations about the proposed closing time (4am) but Hartman has expressed a willingness to compromise on that issue.
The previous tenant of 365 Grand, “Isabella’s Oven,” used the open air patio, which is adjacent to the Seward Park handball courts. But Hartman said he plans to enclose the backyard. A couple of residents who were present at last month’s meeting asserted that the enclosure would not help muffle the noise. At the suggestion of the committee, Hartman has used the past month to build support for his project in the community and to have an architect draw up plans for the backyard enclosure.
Hartman showed the blueprints to us last week. The structure, to be made mostly of double paned, sound proofed glass, would wrap around a patio and extend into a grassed-in, unutilized area between the restaurant and the Co-op. He’s also started to think about a menu for the small plates, Italian concept, but he won’t start to look for a chef unless/until he wins approval at tonight’s meeting. Hartman told us he has collected more than 400 signatures on petitions in support of the restaurant. Several residents, eager to have a few more dining options in the immediate area, plan to attend tonight to voice their support.
The meeting takes place at 630pm, at the JASA/Green Residence, 200 East 5th Street (Bowery). There are fewer items on the agenda tonight than usual. Among the other applications to be considered:
- Kuta (65 Rivington)- request for an outdoor space
- 179 Ludlow- request for a full liquor license
- Bia (154 Orchard)- request for a full liquor license
- Falai (68 Clinton)- request to upgrade to a full liquor license
- Red Velvet (174 Rivington)- request to transfer ownership of full liquor license
We will have full coverage of the meeting late tonight and we’ll Twitter news from the meeting as it happens.