The full report from last night's Community Board 2 meeting, complete with cameos from Joey Campanaro and Harold Dieterle, is coming up in a moment. But first, some big news from the meeting:
Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield appeared with an application for 322 West 11th St, which they want to be a family-style breakfast/lunch/dinner type of place. Bloomfield simply said she wants "to get back in the kitchen to cook the food that I really enjoy. I have a great team who look after my other restaurants and now I have nowhere to go." But, not only was there some opposition from the community, their application was missing important details (seating plan, etc.) and one board member chastised Friedman for putting together an unprofessional application given his pedigree.
Friedman tells Eater today that there was a reason why his application wasn't complete: he pretty much knew it wouldn't go through. He has since abandoned plans for the space.
Basically, Friedman and Bloomfield first thought to take over the space, which sits 150 feet from The Pig, months ago to hold some of the spillover from The Spotted Pig (which happens to keep many of the bars in the area in business). But after Friedman had some preliminary talks with the neighbors and realized they wouldn't go for it, they decided to do a breakfast and lunch space instead, with snacks and wine at night.
It turns out there were still two problems. First, the building is owned by the notorious Gottlieb family, which means, in short, that it's racked with building violations and would be hard/impossible to move into. Second, some neighbors were still opposed, even to the breakfast idea.
Says Friedman, "Last night, there was a barrage of people who were opposed to it. April and I looked at each other like, 'hey, it's not worth it.' We kind of did a half assed attempt at the space because we didn't want to ruin our relationship with the neighbors." After the meeting, Friedman took the neighbors aside and explained that he was giving up on the space because of their opposition and because he wants to keep things copacetic vis a vis The Spotted Pig.
But Bloomfield still wants to go forward with the concept, just in a different space: "She doesn't want a fancy restaurant, just a little restaurant where she can cook. I think she's getting weary of these two pretty big places. And i think she wants to cook in a little place," Friedman says. Stay tuned to find out where they end up.
· Coverage of all Ken Friedman/April Bloomfield Projects [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Community Board Meetings [~ENY~]