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

eileens-cheesecake
Lady of Grand’s Pick: 40 Years of Eileen’s Special Cheesecake [VIDEO]

Eileen’s Special Cheesecake came from “very humble beginnings.”  Eileen’s mother passed away from breast cancer at age 49 and left her the recipe for this special dessert.  She then started making the dessert alone to help her through the mourning process. The very first customer was a deli in Queens.  17 Cleveland Place was no-man’s land […]

Steve Croman, Photo: Daily News
Slumlord Steve Croman Under Investigation by State Attorney General

It’s a victory (of sorts) for all tenants under the thumb of landlord harassment. Controversial slumlord Steve Croman and his posse are under investigation for illegal tactics in their portfolio of properties. It’s the same old story around the Lower East Side – boot the longtimers and convert to luxury. The Daily News had the […]

balvanera-opening
‘Balvanera’ Opens at 152 Stanton Street Tomorrow Night

With Azul Bistro now a footnote in the local history books, Balvanera is taking the torch of Argentinean cuisine at 152 Stanton Street. Paper curtains were summarily deposed from the windows of 152 Stanton last night. Balvanera – named for the neighborhood in Buenos Aires – is nearly there. We walked by the restaurant yesterday, and […]

Photo: Lambert Jack
Waka Waka Arcade Incubator Opens on Clinton Street with ‘Killer Queen’ Game

Our Muppet hero Fozzi Bear would likely get behind the latest retail occupant at 26 Clinton Street. As previously reported, Waka Waka is now open, and bringing with it a unique arcade-type experience to this address. But the concept is actually geared toward game developers. The centerpiece display in the otherwise empty store is “Killer […]

pauls-boutique-mural
This is the Completed Beastie Boys Tribute Mural to ‘Paul’s Boutique’

The “Beastie Boys Square” that wasn’t now has a rather loud visual. Wolfnights – descendant of the Paul’s Boutique-era bargain business establishment – donated its wall for a tribute to the trio. Street artist Danielle Mastrion spent the entirety of Saturday painting Mike D, MCA, and Ad Rock on the Ludlow facade of the restaurant. […]

  • 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.