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First Word: More Details on Carmellini Project Revealed

Last night, Community Board 2 held one of their typically epic SLA licensing committee meetings. We'll get to all the other juicy stories (McNally, Gatsby's and all) in just a moment. But first, let's focus how food world darling Andrew Carmellini fared lobbying for his new project in the Tasting Room space (on the same night A Voce finally announced his replacement). From our CB2 correspondent:

Carmellini made a personal appearance to submit his application for a liquor license transfer from the Tasting Room. His lawyer read a glowing recommendation from Madison Square Park Conservancy President Debbie Landau, who called Carmellini an "integral part of the neighborhood" and added, "Madison Square Park's loss is your gain." He told the committee that he envisioned a layout with one large communal table surrounded by an assortment of 2-tops and 4-tops. He proposed a time line of three months, pending interior and kitchen renovations.
The public was mostly enthusiastic toward Carmellini's proposal, as long as he promised to "involve us." There was a hang-up with the Certificate of Occupancy, as the previous establishment got their license without needing one, so there is still some red tape to cut through.

Carmellini later told us he didn't know what kind of food he would be serving or any specifics regarding the name, feel, or atmosphere of the restaurant, only that he wanted it to be "casual" and "a place to get a quick bite to eat." He also admitted that claiming he could open in 3 months was "a bit premature." We'll wait and see. For the time being, the committee was receptive to the proposal, but denied it pending conditions.

Technically the man was turned down, but the CB tells us he should have no problem getting passed in the full board meeting later this month if he gets through that red tape. Home run for Carmellini (and for Nolita).
—Reporting by Noah Adler
· EaterWire Midday Edition: Carmellini Taking Over Tasting Room Space [~E~]