Last night, we reported on some of the early action at CB3’s SLA Committee hearing. The agenda was relatively short – only about 20 bars came before the panel. But, several controversial applications along upper Avenue A consumed a lot of time – causing the proceedings to drag on well past midnight.
“Northern Avenue A says ‘Enough,'” read the printed pink signs residents held up, as a number of bar/restaurant owners pleaded for CB3’s support. Jill/Blah Blog Blah led the charge and declared “Victory” in a late night post:
The northern part of Avenue A has been under siege by an incredible influx of bars, and tonight three more were on the agenda, plus a sidewalk cafe license. The end result, which is often a testament to stamina more than brains, was that nobody got their license approvals tonight, and one of the three bars withdrew their application in the face of so much opposition. It’s a funny thing that I find myself on this side of this argument. I love bars, I love restaurants, I love going out. One of the main reasons to have stayed here all these years is because I love the energy of the East Village. But there has come a moment in the past few years where the tipping point was reached, and the number of bars has outnumbered everything else. Instead of the diverse place I’ve lived for so long, our little streets have become a mecca of nightlife, a Temple Bar or Bourbon Street zone that is on the verge of being truly unlivable. 19 bars within 500 feet simply have to be enough to choose from.
EV Grieve set the stage last week – blogging about the Avenue A onslaught. In the end, Westville (173 Avenue A), El Camion (194 Avenue A), Percy’s (210 Avenue A), MBM Lounge (212 Avenue A) and an unnamed restaurant at 503 East 12th didn’t stand a chance.
Jill and others are hopeful CB3 is “rethinking their position on transfer licenses.” We won’t go into chapter and verse on that issue now (click here for February’s tete a tete). It should be noted, however, that CB3 main proponent of allowing businesses to automatically “transfer” liquor licenses to new operators, David McWater, was absent last night. Committee Chair Alex Militano told residents there’s no CB3 policy “greenlighting” transfers, in spite of what McWater has asserted.
A few other notes from last night:
- The committee signaled its support for a full service restaurant at 63 Clinton, in the old SavorNY space. It’ll be an intimate spot serving homey Italian and American specialties. The restaurant is tenatively called Fattacuckoo (don’t ask).
- A place called Culturefix (9 Clinton) was rejected, after a lengthy debate. The owners want to open an art gallery/retail store/bar. Most committee members seemed to appreciate their efforts in coming up with an original concept. But in the end, they were not convinced this place wouldn’t being transformed into a “hipster drinking scene.” Here’s how the applicants reacted to their setback (via Facebook): “We appeared before the community board last night and they were inches away from approving us for a new license. We were eventually denied, but looking at it in perspective, it was a major step to capture 3 of the 7 board member’s approval. We will be attending a new meeting on the 30th to argue our case before the e…ntire committee. WISH US LUCK and join if you can, especially if you live in the lower east side!”
- As we indicated last night, Freemans prevailed – in its renewal application. Guest of a Guest has the blow by blow.