Last night, a slew of restaurateurs including Steve Hanson, the owners of ramen shop Hung Ry, the new owners of Acme Bar & Grill, and Beacon's Waldy Malouf appeared before Community Board 2 to seek that life-giving booze. The committee voted after dismissing the crowds, but some applications looked more promising than others. Stay tuned to find out what happens when the full board meets at the end of the month. For now, the applicants:
1) Restaurateur Steve Hanson recently took over Strip House on 11 East 12th street. With plans to expand the space next door, Hanson was presenting his case to obtain another liquor license for the restaurant. Intending to keep Strip House exactly as is, the second license would ensure that all his restaurants will be uniform with a 4 AM closing time. About 15 extremely peeved community members were nearly falling over themselves trying to get the board to listen to their case against Strip House. The community members claimed this had nothing to do with the operator and everything to do with the density of liquor licenses on upper University Place, and they had a petition with 231 signatures to prove it. An upset Hanson made some remarks to a member on the committee, which probably isn't going to help his case. We'll see when the full board meets at the end of the month.
2) Co-Owner/Chef of Beacon Waldy Malouf is looking to open a restaurant called High Heat on Bleecker St. High Heat will be the first restaurant opened of a three restaurant concept offering pizza, burgers and wine and beer on tap. The wine will be on tap in efforts to 'go green' and eliminate some use of plastics, which seemed to impress the board.
3) According to the owner, customers at Hung Ry have expressed a desire to have an extended menu. Since 'the customer is always right', the menu will start offering organic burgers (beef and lamb) and organic chicken to the menu. Though they currently have a beer and wine license, they want to expand their drink options to match their new menu. In an effort to sway the board, their lawyer said they have significantly cleaned up the appearance of the building, even adding bamboo benches outside. A community member who lived on the block was not as impressed with the bamboo benches and said it looked like Hung-Ry had lost a lot of business in the past year, also adding that another liquor license on the block would be completely unnecessary.
4) Huy Chi Le from Indochine and Republic, and Jean Marc Houmard (who will act as a consultant), were presenting an application for corporate change for Acme Bar & Grill. While the pair was certain about hiring a new chef and making revisions to the menu to have a family style restaurant, the board was not impressed that the details had not been completely figured out. They will be coming back next month once they have worked out these kinks.
5) The old Stoned Crow space on 85 Washington Place has a new owner who aspires to open a bar/restaurant called Drinking with Good Dough. The committee seemed to appreciate the enthusiastic and polite owner. Drinking with Good Dough will serve some classic American fare with a Cajun influence but will primarily be a bar where the older set can come for a friendly conversation over a beer or watch sports on TV.
6) Scott Conant, the chef/owner of Scarpetta, was looking to attain a liquor license for a multi-use commercial space on 598 Broadway. The space would be used for recipe development, food photography for upcoming books, filming space for TV shows, and as a private event space. Even though Conant had approval from the Soho Alliance, tenants in the building were less than thrilled with his plans citing noise and safety as their biggest concerns.
7): Based on the success of Segafredo Zanetti in Miami, an ambitious trio sought to open their own space on 53 Grand St. (aka 331 West Broadway). The phrase 'authentic Italian experience' was said on repeat as if that would increase their chances for a liquor license. The already hesitant committee seemed even more confused when they requested to stay open until 2 AM claiming they needed the extra revenue from the late night crowd in search of a coffee or cocktail.
8) After receiving flack for too many outdoor tables, the guys from Giovanna's were back in hopes of attaining an alteration. Unfortunately for them, they came without the proper paperwork and so the issue will be pushed back until next month.
9) The night finished off with two dessert shops each seeking a beer and wine license. The Best Chocolate Cake in NY said with high rents the restaurant could benefit from extra revenue. The unnamed space on 284 Mulberry St. is going to be created into a dessert spot under the pretense that patrons can stop by after dinner and have a sweet, coffee, and a drink. After hearing something similar earlier in the night, the board didn't seem too thrilled to offer dessert only spaces a beer and wine license.
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