Earlier this month we noted that John Fraser's temporary Soho restaurant What Happens When did not have an easy time of it in front of the NIMBYS and neighborhood naysayers at Community Board 2's SLA Licensing Committee meeting. The restaurant's liquor license, which they got from previous tenant Le Jardin Bistro is up for renewal, thus the meeting appearance. Why, you wonder, would they protest this quiet restaurant that doesn't even have a seated bar? Because they say all restaurants should have "ties to the community," and the general nature of a pop-up precludes that.
Well, the full board meeting takes place on Thursday, and the neighbors have decided to make an issue of it. Check out the verbiage in a recent flier:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ? a temporary pop-up restaurant installation suddenly opens up next door to you – or in your backyard – without first notifying the community board or reaching out to the community residents? This is exactly what has happened at 25 Cleveland Place – the location of the popular Le Jardin Restaurant that suddenly vacated their premises this past fall.
You can do something to help make sure that this dangerous precedent does not become the new backdoor means by which an eating and drinking establishment obtains their liquor license without going through the proper and legal procedures.A dangerous precedent? Yes, you do hate to have good food at an affordable price from a three star chef in Soho.
And you can help your neighbor (or yourself) to make sure that the OUTDOOR GARDEN at 25 Cleveland Place doesn’t keep you or your neighbors up till all hours of the night this coming spring, summer and fall.
A Soho resident tells Eater that the meeting is shaping up to be a doozy, not just because of WHW but because of a general fight over sidewalk space for other establishments (the establishments want it, the neighbors don't). They say it's fast becoming "a fight between rich east Soho and old school west Soho." Intrigue!
· What Happens When Hits Snafu with Community Board 2 [~ENY~]