Robert Halpern filed a lawsuit in late September that argues the number of liquor licenses in the East Village has gotten out of control. The proliferation of restaurants serving bottomless brunch has led to “more noise, more crowds, and more uncivil behavior,” the complaint says.
In its official response, the SLA says the lawsuit is frivolous, the Post reports. “Halpern’s motivation behind alleging these complaints is his self-interest against increased noise and crowds in his community. Halpern substitutes his own personal judgement for that of the Authority … Halpern’s remedy, simply put, cannot be found within the walls of this Courthouse,” new court papers reportedly read.
Regardless, Halpern told the Post he still thinks he has “standing” to sue.
This isn’t the first backlash against restaurants downtown looking to serve alcohol. Recently, Chinatown locals attempted to block the Zabar family from opening a restaurant with alcohol in the neighborhood. The Lower East Side also faces an oversaturation issue in so-called Hell Square.