Toby’s Public House Draws Resistance from Community

Posted on: April 26th, 2011 at 6:39 am by

Toby’s Public House was denied a full liquor license for 86 Kenmare Street at last month’s Community Board 2 SLA meeting.  Locals weren’t happy about another invasive restaurant following in the footsteps of Village Tart, and board members were reportedly annoyed by the lack of community outreach.  Well, last night was the big push by ownership to meet the neighbors face-to-face.  It wasn’t pretty, and tempers nearly flared.

Signs on nearby light poles and the newish sidewalk shed advertised the get-together.  It was basically an attempt to wine-and-dine the community, so to speak.  Turnout was surprisingly high – approximately twenty, including residents of 86 Kenmare and of other buildings in the immediate vicinity.  Owner Christine Iu detailed her intentions for the Manhattan branch of Toby’s Public House, and served plenty of pizza to the concerned crowd.

Much like the zillion other nightlife newcomers looking to land on the Lower East Side, Toby’s wants to be a “casual neighborhoody place.”  Zero intention of becoming a rowdy nightspot.  The response is an oft-empty promise that has become a textbook play for restaurateurs. Meanwhile, diagrams pasted to an unfinished wall detailed an interior which seats roughly fifty-five patrons, boasts two kitchens, and displays hopes of a sidewalk cafe on the Kenmare front.  And while their Brooklyn location is a sports bar, there is currently no plan for that concept to cross the river.  Indeed, there will only be two televisions.

But the neighbors in attendance weren’t having it.  Led by the spirited charge of CB2 board member Robin Goldberg, the community leveled an assault on Iu’s entire operation.  Concerned residents resisted the idea of yet another establishment on Kenmare, which has already become the latest nightlife hotspot.  Most of the usual suspects were touched upon – noise, liquor license, hours of operation, open windows, etc.  Based solely on the reception to Toby’s last night, there might need to be some regrouping before submitting another application to CB2.

Recent Stories

Early ’00s LES Rock History ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’ will be Adapted into Docu-series

You may have seen this… New York’s beloved gritty indie musc scene circa 2000s is getting a second life, through a four-hour docu-series. That’s right, the resurgence is a visual retelling based on Lizzy Goodman’s 600-page oral history called Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock & Roll in NYC 2001-2011. The documentary will […]

Anti-Gun Mural Painted on Hester Street

Shots fired. Muralist Otto Schade is throwing shade at gun control with this powerful new piece on Hester Street, just east of the Bowery. It was painted last week. The liberty eagle’s wingspan runs the length of the brick wall, and is composed solely of weaponry. Machine guns and knives. And the bird is clutching […]

‘Tang’s Noodle’ Joins the Leon Hotel on Canal Street

Chinatown has another noodle shop to its name. Coming soon to the four-year-old Leon Hotel is Tang’s Noodle. If the signage is to be believed, this is the first stateside restaurant for the import. Build-out of the small ten-table establishment had been underway since summertime. And it’s not to be confused with the new hotpot […]

Construction Resumes at East Broadway Modular Development Site After Collapsed Sidewalk

The modular housing construction on East Broadway reactivated in a big way last week after its second sidelining since summertime. Pile driver and backhoe are stationed onsite. The project parcel at 201 East Broadway has been relatively silent for much of the last six months. Twice in that time, progress was stymied thanks to safety […]

City Council Passes Bill for Increased ‘Urban Renewal’ Transparency

Earlier this week, City Council unanimously voted to pass legislation that would require the City to provide public access to urban renewal plans, which have been changing the real estate landscape of New York City for decades. Intro 1533-A, sponsored by Councilwoman Margaret Chin, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to […]

  • SSres

    I am an annoyed resident nearby the Brooklyn Toby’s. Our experience with the restaurant and owner has been far less than neighborly. When issues of noise level was raised, it seems like the owner went far out of her way to be unaccomodating, even combative and duplicitous.