Claudette's neighbors aren't happy. The Provencal-inspired restaurant has gotten initial approval to add sidewalk seating after its owner Carlos Suarez promised he wouldn't add any, reports DNAinfo. In a list of stipulations filed with the community board back in October 2013, Suarez agreed that "the applicant agreed to... not use any backyard garden space or sidewalk cafe."
The Department of Consumer Affairs signed off on the cafe permit on July 2, and now the application is expected to slide on through a City Council vote today. Apparently, Suarez never mentioned the agreement. The DCA is purportedly looking into the situation. Meanwhile, a council member said: "It appears, from what I can discern, that we're dealing with bad actors here... I don't think we, as the City Council, should be rewarding bad actors with permits that they may not have been qualified for." Neighbors on Fifth Avenue are considering legal action if the restaurant gets final approval.
Update: Claudette sent the following statement to Eater.
The ultimate goal was to restore the beauty of lower 5th Avenue by removing the enclosed sidewalk cafe installed by previous tenants, and only subsequently did they realize that an outdoor sidewalk cafe was in fact a possibility. At the time of the Community Board liquor license approval process, the team at Claudette was unaware that the SWC was possible and were therefore not planning to apply for it. The team is thrilled with the positive response from their neighbors, has the utmost respect for their Greenwich Village community and looks forward to continuing to serve the neighborhood.