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A “Grand Park” Critic Speaks Out

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Yesterday, we posted a story about Jesse Hartman's continuing struggle to open "Grand Park," a glass-enclosed restaurant on Grand Street. In June, Community Board 3 agreed to support his application for a liquor license. But because Hartman and his prospective landlord, the Seward Park Housing Corp., have been in protracted lease negotiations, he must ask CB3 for an extension. A Seward Park Co-op resident, Ernest Marshall, will be coming to the board's SLA Committee Monday night to oppose Hartman's plan.

In a phone conversation a short time ago, Marshall told me he does not want to see any more bars or restaurants serving liquor in the vicinity of the co-op. "It's not a night club neighborhood – it's a quiet, peaceful neighborhood," he said. In a letter distributed to all Seward Park residents, Marshall questioned why the co-op would "support an establishment that has the capability of converting to a bar/disco." He also expressed concern about opening a restaurant near a high school (the Seward Park campus is on the next block) and asked why the restaurant, described in CB3's resolution as "family friendly," needs a liquor license and has asked to stay open past 11pm. 

Seward Park President Michael Tumminia has emphasized that, although negotiations are continuing, Hartman does not have a signed lease for the retail space, 365 Grand Street. Marshall said he has not discussed the matter with anyone on the co-op's board of directors.

Yesterday, Hartman said he called Marshall and they spoke for a few minutes before Marshall abruptly hung up the phone. Marshall said today he found Hartman "rude and argumentative," and that he politely ended the conversation.

CB3's SLA Committee meets Monday at 630pm, at the JASA/Green Residence, 200 East 5th Street (at Bowery).

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