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

Photo: Splitsville Bowling
‘Splitsville’ Luxury Lanes Confirmed as Essex Crossing Bowling Alley in Site 1

A subterranean bowling alley is coming to Site 1 of Essex Crossing. That much has been known for years. But the identity of the establishment is not Bowlmor, as previously believed. Instead, it’s a “boutique” affair by retro-style bowling brand Splitsville Luxury Lanes. According to the scoop in the Daily News, Splitsville will occupy 17,000 […]

conbody-workout
Prison Cell Bootcamp Studio ‘ConBody’ Debuts at 38 Delancey Street

This cleaned-up con artist sure has a workout for you. Coss Marte – a former drug dealer who served four years of a seven-year sentence – returned to his native Lower East Side to open a new workout studio. CossAthletics debuted a couple months ago inside the condoplex at 38 Delancey Street (2nd floor) and immediately […]

crg-gallery-chrystie
Chelsea’s CRG Gallery is Moving to Chrystie Street Next Fall

It’s a total cliche at this point. Small Chelsea gallery wooed by the Lower East Side packs up the showroom and moves. This narrative has been repeated time and again the last decade. The latest art house to hop onto this proverbial bandwagon – CRG Gallery. CRG Gallery will soon reopen in 195 Chrystie Street. […]

Lou Reed
Talking CBGB, Punk, and Warhol with Photographer Bobby Grossman [INTERVIEW]

Most of my friends know that I’m a New York City history freak. I’ll probably annoy you when I walk down the street telling you the history of some random tenement on the corner of some random street in the LES. Lately, though, I’ve found myself reading numerous books on the 60s/70s/80s NYC music scene, […]

Photo: NYC Municipal Archives
On the Ground 7 Years Before the Essex Street Market Became a Reality [PHOTOS]

In the coming years, each of the Essex Street Market buildings will fall to accommodate the new Essex Crossing mega-project. The facility was built seventy-five years ago to move the plethora of pushcarts indoors. The archival photo is dated sometime in 1933, seven years before the one-story commercial buildings were constructed by order of Mayor LaGuardia. […]

  • 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.