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CB3 Panel Approves Bar at 21 Essex, Bowery Oyster Bar

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21 Essex Street.

We understand Community Board 3’s “State Liquor Authority Committee” breezed through the 38 items on last night’s agenda, wrapping up the proceedings at around 2:30 a.m.  The Lo-Down hung in there for around three hours before calling it quits!  The panel dealt with a few interesting items while we were there, including a proposal for a new bar at 21 Essex Street.

A couple of months ago, in the face of opposition from some neighbors, the applicants withdrew their application to gather more community support. Last night they presented more than 300 signatures from residents living in the immediate vicinity, including some from the tenement where the bar is located. Opponents turned in about the same number of signatures.  Chris Herrity, Gabriel Schulman, Leah Malone and Dan Sutti plan to open a small cafe (serving mostly sandwiches) and bar catering to the post-art gallery crowd.  They spent about $10,000 soundproofing the space.  The place will close at 2 a.m. each evening.

Also last night, Kristin Vincent of Home Sweet Home (131 Chrystie) won approval for her new oyster bar at 1 Delancey Street (Bowery). Quite a few neighbors living on or near the Bowery testified against the proposal, arguing that the area is already too overburdened with nightlife establishments.  Vincent also had her defenders, who said she has been a good neighbor on the Lower East Side.

Federico Manfredi and Marco Gentilucci pitched their proposal to open up a Northern Italian seafood restaurant at 121 Ludlow Street (the former home of Nippon Sushi). The operators of the  West Village spot Quartino, want a beer and wine license only and are interested in staying open 24 hours. Committee Chair Alex Militano said she saw no reason to support a restaurant open at all hours; the applicants agreed to seek more support on Ludlow Street before returning to the committee.

Finally, the committee grudgingly approved a new license for The Delancey, 168 Delancey Street. Responding to complaints from neighbors, the owners agreed to move speakers from the rooftop bar.  Back in 2003, the State Liquor Authority approved licenses for the multi-level bar in spite of community board opposition.  Last night, CB3 member (and fellow bar owner) David McWater suggested The Delancey close the roof bar altogether if it really wanted the board’s support.  It turned out to be idle threat, as a renewal was approved by the committee.


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  1. How come CB 3 approved a bar at the same intersection that CB 2 refused (due to traffic concerns, over saturation of liquor licenses in the neighborhood, etc.)?
    And what is the point of petitions that can’t be vetted?
    As to being a “good neighbor” since when do letters of approval from tenants whose only interpreter was the landlord (who stands to gain from the license) stand as any kind of testimony?
    This was awful.

  2. to most everyone at the hearing it seemed that this ‘board’ is a rubber stamp for the applicants. most of the time it appeared that they weren’t quite sure of what they were doing. the applicant was granted whatever was asked for on the application. no modification of stipulations with these folks. no wonder the LES/E.Village is overrun with bars!! and quite apparently they don’t give a rat’s ass about CB3’s western boundary.

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