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Cercle Rouge, Bubble Lounge Fighting For Liquor Life

Still reeling from yesterday's news of European Union's liquor license denial by the State Liquor Authority, a report in the new issue of the Tribeca Tribune has thrown us positively for a loop. Hold on to the table as you read on:

Recently, the SLA notified three businesses on West Broadway that it is moving to revoke their liquor licenses. All four establishments are in the vicinity of Masjid al-Farah, a Sufi mosque in a nondescript two-story building at 245 West Broadway... The mosque is sandwiched between two licensed establishments: Cercle Rouge, which opened last year, and 10-year-old Tribeca Tavern. Bubble Lounge opened 11 years ago, 188 feet from the mosque, according to the SLA. All three received notices of revocation. (Montrachet restaurant, 68 feet from the mosque, is apparently exempt because it predates the mosque’s opening in 1990.)
This is, of course, the same Tribeca territory of the unopened Liquor Store Bar, whose plight (denied for a liquor license in December) mimics that of EU. What to make of the potential fallout? Cercle Rouge, the French bistro that opened in September, is already on any self-respecting restaurant watcher's deathwatch; this likely would be the final blow. (Do click through to the Trib to read owner Georges Forgeois' thoughts on Sufism and this adorable quote, “You cannot have someone spend all that money, then tell them that they can’t have their license.” Would someone kindly inform EU?) Tribeca Tavern and Bubble Lounge are classics (of a sort); their closing would change the neighborhood's evening landscape significantly, though Tribeca Tavern could reconfigure to use a Sixth Avenue entrance.

And what of the mosque, seen to the left of Cercle Rouge in the photo above (also courtesy the Trib)? "Officials at the mosque said they have no objection to the nearby bars and have never had problems with them."
· West Broadway Bars Facing License Ban [Tribeca Trib]
· Ouch: European Union Denied Liquor License [~E~]

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