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The Drying of NYC: Bouley Lobbying the Community Board

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For those who haven't been following the Bouley/Brush Stroke/CB1 saga, a quick recap: Bouley is trying to open a three floor Japanese restaurant in Tribeca. At two CB1 committee meetings, the board members voted against his request for a liquor license, citing various allegations of bad neighborliness (insurance fraud, carbon monoxide violations, double parked idling black cars). Well, Bouley's application hits the full board tonight. In preparation for the meeting, Bouley decided to employ a little preemptive PR by sending an email to all 50 CB1 members addressing two allegations and describing the new project. Though it seems innocent enough to us, the community board member who forwarded it along would say otherwise:

"It was voted down 6-4 in committee but Bouley will probably get the vote he needs tonight due to a MASSIVE PR, letter writing and lobbying campaign. Nothing gets a vote like free high end food right? One of the board members frantically dialing for Bouley...is opening a new community center on April 10th with catering donated by none other than David Bouley! If the board votes allow the liquor license then Bouley will still have a huge fight on his hands at the 500 ft SLA hearing from local residents."
Yowza. Emotions are running high with this fight. Bouley's email, described as "arrogant PR" by the above member, is reproduced in full ahead. Let's take a look at what all the fuss is about:
Dear “Insert Board Member Name Here”

Thank you in advance for considering my liquor license application at Tuesday’s community board meeting. I wanted to convey to you my sincere apologies for not being able to attend the meeting in person.

Unfortunately, I committed to a request from the Japanese government to speak in Japan several months ago. Otherwise I would certainly attend. In place, my general manager, Jay Futch, will be in attendance and I have asked him to read the following statement:

'My wife Nicole and I have been part of Tribeca since the mid 80s. We were here when traffic lights and street signs were scarce. We have made many friends and built our home in this community hand in hand with so many of you who are here tonight. The growth we have witnessed in Tribeca has been exceptional and we fully understand the desire of residents to ensure that our neighborhood never loses its distinctiveness. Our restaurants and bakery were designed to fit into the landscape of the community and Brush Stroke is no exception.

In the last community board meeting some concerns were raised that we have since taken steps to address. It was brought to our attention that there may be some double-parking by cars and limousines; we have purchased portable signs requesting this does not happen and have also educated our team to assist in ensuring the roads are clear.

The other concern focused on the area in which we place our waste for removal. It was observed that the waste can leave stains on the sidewalk. We have purchased a pressure washer and will start a program to ensure our sidewalks are very clean.

We are relocating our Bakery, Pastry, Ice Cream and other production to a new home in West SoHo. This level of production will allow us to provide a larger service to the community, including Home Meal Replacements, while reducing our production footprint in Tribeca. Also, Bouley is relocating into a state-of-the-art environment in the Mohawk Building.

I hired Jay Futch as our general manager in December of 2007. He was with the Walt Disney Company for 12 years managing different departments in Florida, California and Europe. Jay will focus on details within our current operations and assist in our efforts to expand responsibly. I believe we will benefit from a service leader like Disney management.

I have also hired Anna Pomykala – Anna holds degrees from Yale and NYU and will assist me in all administrative areas.

It has always been my hope and intention that my restaurants are a positive aspect of the neighborhood and that we are considered good neighbors.

Should anyone have any problems, I urge you to contact Jay Futch or me and we will work with you to address any grievances.

Please let me explain the new restaurant concept. Brush Stroke will include three distinct dining opportunities. The basement will be a healthy casual restaurant that is very comfortable and family-friendly. It will be especially inviting for locals who want to stop in for a quick bite and a great atmosphere. The first floor restaurant will be Japanese-French inspired. It will feature Mr. Mikame, a four star chef from the New York Times, and the current Sushi Chef from our Upstairs restaurant. The second floor will imitate a True Kyoto Kaiseke Experience. Mr Tsuji of the famed Tsuji Culinary Institute will assist in bringing a traditional Japanese experience to our neighborhood.

I have attended the previous community board meetings and would like to be here tonight but I am currently in Japan showcasing Tribeca and New York in front of a global audience. I hope my record in this neighborhood and my commitment to always work with the community gives you confidence that I will use this liquor license responsibly.

Thank you for listening and I look forward to new heights in our community.'

Thank you again for your time and consideration. And should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Jay or me.

Best regards,
David Bouley

· Bouley's Booze Hopes Hit Another Stumbling Block [~E~]
· Tribeca Has Major Beef with Bouley, Denies Booze for Brushstrokes [~E~]

Bouley

163 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013

Brush stroke

30 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 212 791 3771

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