Last night, Community Board 3 voted 23-13 (with one member abstaining) to approve a liquor license for La Flaca, a New Mexican restaurant replacing Two Boots Tavern at 384 Grand Street. This morning, we spoke with Daniela Libertini, who’s opening the cantina with her fiance, Bobby Gonzales. Daniela told us La Flaca will begin serving dinner a week from Monday, October 11th. In August, CB3’s SLA Committee approved the application, but the full board’s vote was necessary before a recommendation could be forwarded to the State Liquor Authority. About a half dozen residents of the Seward park Cooperative (located across the street from the restaurant) showed up last night to protest the decision. The group, led by Deborah Finston and Norma Ramirez, submitted petitions and a statement before the vote took place. The statement said residents were concerned about the restaurant’s 4am closing time, explaining, “We would like to preserve an environment where families can be raised securely and people can sleep soundly at night. Many of us believe our neighborhood would be inundated by drunken pedestrians, late night noise, street traffic, dangerous situations and the filth that comes with bars.” They also criticized the presence of bar owners on the SLA Committee, which they called “a conflict of interest.” The residents said their voices were being silenced. A CB3 member (and Grand Street resident), Gloria Goldenberg, also questioned the 4am closing time, unsuccessfully pushing for reduced hours. Another board member, Vaylateena Jones, chimed in, asserting that most of the people in the Seward Park Cooperative are of retirement age. But other board members, including CB3 Chair Dominic Pisciotta, said there is a need for a place like La Flaca on this section of Grand Street, where most businesses shut down at dusk. Daniela said the restaurant will initially open for dinner, but they are thinking about adding lunch service. Anyone interested in that, she said, should let her know once La Flaca opens its doors on the 11th.