Last night, the SLA Licensing Committee for Community Board 2 met to discuss an agenda that ultimately led to 17 hopeful restaurants getting a yay or nay for liquor license recommendation in just over six hours. It was calm for the most part with a majority of the applicants seeing little to no opposition from the community, strange for CB2. Of course there was some drama. To the report:
1) The one applicant that did run into plenty of trouble was a late addition to the agenda - The Brewster, a self-described saloon that'll be serving up oysters in an underground space. Those who spoke in opposition clearly had a game plan as they mostly hammered them on specific points - three were from Chinatown Head Start and implored all to think of the kids while some residents spoke of the place being a "freakin' fire hazard", a "fire trap", as well as a "death trap." In the end, those pleas fell on deaf ears as the committee voted to approve the application.
2) Seamus Mullen came before the committee to make his case for the space at 359 6th Ave. He made a very brief pitch but he says it will be a Spanish-influenced restaurant. The committee was impressed with his knowledge of the location's history as the original 21 Club which went in his favor since they acknowledged that the location had always been known at one point or another as being somewhere where one could have a drink. He got unanimous approval for a full liquor license.
3) Also present at the meeting was WD~50 executive pastry chef Alex Stupak, speaking for his new restaurant Empellon at 230 W. 4th St. He passionately made the case to be open late by stressing how he wanted a place that would be the place to go for other industry folks when they finish their shifts late at night. He stressed that he does not like drunk people and that this isn't the kind of place for that sort of thing. The committee was split on their application, mostly because of the hours, but voted anyway to approve, albeit at 4-3.
4) Emil Warda, back on the docket after a previous appearance, seemingly faced an uphill climb for his restaurant in the old Beatrice Inn space with the committee and community worried that they'd get a redux of what happened previously in that space, namely how it changed the neighborhood for the worse. This time, he had more support from the community with no objections present and was able to secure unanimous approval.
· Carlos Suarez, 18 Greenwich Ave.
· Ideal Food & Drink, 7-9 West 8th Street
· Umberto’s Clam House, 132 Mulberry St. (relocating)
· The Brewster, 177 Mott St.
· Aurora Catering, 231 Mott St.
· Emil Warda, 285 W. 12th St.
· Maximopino Café, 504 6th Ave.
· Empellon, 230 W. 4th St.
· Hakata Ton Ton, 61 Grove St.
· 900 Degrees, 29 7th Ave. South
· Seamus Mullen, 359 6th Ave.
· 232 W. 14th St. (backyard)
· 265 Pastry LLC, 265 Lafayette St. (addition to space)
· Soho Garden & Grill, 224 Lafayette St.
· Lucky 13, 21-27 9th Ave.
· Adrien Gallo, 80 Varick St.
· Andrew K. Breslin, 159 Bleecker St.