Nobu's Richie Notar laid over his application for a new spot in the Meatpacking District last night, but Community Board 2's first of two SLA liquor license committee meetings this month wasn't without its exciting proposals and their requisite drama. Let's get right into it:
1) For a while there last night it looked like Josh Pickard would finally come out with an approval for Greenwich Gardens, the ambitious rooftop project he has planned for 609 Greenwich Street. Pickard's presentation revealed plans for a small complex meant to evoke "a day in the country," replete with a cottage that will house a 30-seat restaurant, an outdoor pool and bar area that will open to the public, and a small farm that will supply the restaurant; total occupancy around 183.
As expected for a project of this nature, a couple of community members came out to voice their concerns, and the board spent a good half hour posing questions and getting Pickard to agree to certain stipulations, including limiting hours (closing the pool at 6 PM, closing the outdoor bar at 11 PM) and agreeing to take measures to block debris from falling from the roof. Chair Raymond Lee noted that at this point, there isn't much fervent opposition to the project, nor is there anyone in the community whose support goes beyond just being OK with it.
When all the applicants had come and gone and it was time to vote on the measures of the evening, the board agreed that it would set a dangerous precedent — and stir up trouble with past denied applicants — to approve a project where the rooftop isn't just a feature of the business but the main attraction. "We usually find ourselves approving outdoor spaces like this for a hotel," said one board member, "but I think we should be a little more cautious here." Of course, the full board will give the final up or down vote later this month.
2) But it wasn't a total bust last night for Pickard, as the board green lit his proposal to alter Joe's Pub. Seeing as the business has turned into such a successful venue for live performance — something the founders weren't sure would happen — they want to make the bar smaller and move it from where it is now to the northern corner in the hopes of creating more of a concert setting. This is all part of the $35 Million renovation project of the Public.
3) The ridiculously Italian Serafina brothers were in to give 7 9th Avenue another shot. They've faced opposition in the past for wanting to be in operation 24 hours, and they have now agreed to close up at 4 AM, with the option of opening for breakfast soon after. The board seemed amenable, especially after the applicants spoke of their desire to clean up and enliven what they described as a desolate, dreary corner. But in the end, the board determined that some community outreach remains to be done and they got the applicants to agree to lay it over until next month.
4) Richard Michael Notar's application was withdrawn before the meeting, as were the applications of Sbafo and 22 Little W. 12th. The application for the new Chipotle at 405 6th Avenue was laid over because they mistakenly filed for a full license and not beer and wine, as intended.
5) Trattoria Oreste, Innovation 2010, and Revel Garden were approved for their alterations.
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