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

billy-bourek
Billy Leroy (of Antiques Fame) Stars in ‘Bourek,’ Now Playing at Cinema Village

​Billy Leroy is not dead, okay? He’s just not on the Bowery anymore. Billy Leroy, whose eponymous antiques business folded five years ago, has taken on acting. The current Baggage Battles star is a leading man in the new movie, Bourek. It’s an independent romantic comedy filmed predominantly in Greece, and now playing on the big […]

houston-sidewalk-5
New Sidewalks and Curbs Signal Some Semblance of Progress for East Houston Reconstruction Project

​Since East Houston roadwork is nowhere near completion, we must relish the baby steps, as it were, of forward progress. Indeed. The first real noticeable change in months is now palpable along the battered corridor. New sidewalks on the south side. Over the last few weeks, contractors have poured new cement (i.e. “pigmented sidewalks”) and […]

#Chalk LES, Photo: LES History Month
Chalk the LES this Sunday to Kick off the 3rd Annual Lower East Side History Month

To kick off the third annual Lower East Side History Month, co-sponsors by FABnyc and Downtown Art are again planning a community chalking event for Sunday and Monday. A “chalk about town,” you might say. LES Stories, as the two-day event is called, encourages participants to sketch trivia, memories, or random musings about the neighborhood […]

Aron Streit holding the matzo on opening day, 1925
Streit’s Documentary is a Smash, Extended 2 More Weeks at Film Forum

The numbers are in, and the critically acclaimed documentary about Streit’s Matzo was a home run. In its short one-week residency at the Film Forum, intended to coincide with Passover, Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream surpassed expectations. It became the highest grossing film at the movie house this past week. Due to the success, daily […]

129allen
Peruvian Restaurant ‘Baby Brasa’ Opening Next Month at 129 Allen Street

The Precision barbershop at 129 Allen Street shuttered and relocated earleir this spring. It’s now down the block and with a rebranded identity, Allen Street Cut & Shave. In its place, a new restaurant. A Peruvian restaurant by the name of Baby Brasa is on its way. Butcher paper is in the windows, signaling the […]

  • 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.