La Esquina owner Derek Sanders says the Building's Department shuttered his subterranean restaurant yesterday for violating the city's 2008 building code revisions, but claims to the New York Post that they weren't expecting this because "our building has always fallen under the older  code". Sanders and co-owner Serge Becker have already begun to make the necessary changes, but expect to be closed for several days while they make the renovations. La Esquina went through a similar issue in 2007, when they mysteriously closed for one month due to water main problems.
The initial complaints about exhaust issues were lodged by Esquina neighbor Georgette Fleischer, a longtime block resident and Barnard professor who tells the Post that "the restaurant owners are acting like barbarians and playing fast and loose with safety issues. It's only a matter of time before someone loses their life."
Fleischer is a veteran of the nightlife wars, having shut down a La Esquina election party in 2008 and even complaining about Andrew Sasson's J.E.T. in 1999 by saying "we live in this little doll's house, and suddenly this giant downstairs is rocking the rafters." She even argued against James Beard award winner Michael White's planned trattoria at the Community Board hearing, exclaiming, "in a nightspot-hopping area that leaves residents like me awakened at two, three, four in the morning when these drunk and drugged-out fleets move fabulously from one hotspot to the next.”
All in all, she sounds like a lovely neighbor for the local businesses to deal with. La Esquina hopes to reopen soon.
· Hot Spot is Taco Shelved [NYP]
· Dept. Of Buildings Shuts Down La Esquina [~ENY~]
· La Esquina Coverage [~ENY~]