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The Drying of NYC: More Trouble for Ex-Falls Space

Some locations never stop causing problems. That seems to be the case at 218 Lafayette Street in Soho, formerly occupied by nightclub/nightmare The Falls. Many will remember it as the notorious site of the abduction of Imette St. Guillen by Falls bouncer Darryl Littlejohn. Well, seems things haven't quieted down since 218 (a.k.a Midnight Café), the building's new tenant, moved in.

It was a bad sign when the bar's operators essentially pulled a fast one on the Community Board by promising to only file for a beer and wine license and instead filed for—and obtained—a full liquor license instead. Now, the bar/restaurant/weekend club has seen numerous noise complaints from neighbors leveled against it. This includes the allegation that the restaurant is misusing their license and operating as a club—sometimes with hundred of people—on the weekend without the necessary cabaret license. Neighbors tell Eater the noise is so severe that the owner of the loft above the space has been unable to rent out the apartment.

However, it's not just the normal NIMBY complaints with this one. Things have gotten desperate enough that the landlord slapped the place with a cease and desist order (PDF here) earlier this month, noting they'll be evicted by tomorrow if they don't stop the music. And now, the State Liquor Authority has gotten involved, calling a special meeting on August 6 to deal with this issue. Given that Community Board 2 and the Soho Alliance will probably be in attendance, it's not looking particularly good for 218. Then again, they could always sue.
—Matt Duckor
· 218 Lafayette Cease and Desist [PDF]