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

Taking a Quick Yo-Yo Break on the Bowery [VIDEO]

A contractor on the Bowery yesterday morning sure brought his Yo-Yo game… We watched this man, presumably on break from one of the myriad construction projects nearby, effortlessly swing around his Yo-Yo. (Get your mind outta the gutter.) Tangling and dangling the toy without messing up, either. Meanwhile, most pedestrians ambled past the sidewalk performer […]

‘Happy Wok’ on Endangered List as its Delancey Street Space Hits the Market for $13K

For a stretch of retail on borrowed time, 156-164 Delancey Street sure stays fresh with commercial turnover. Indeed, within the last eighteen months, a dollar pizza joint and Coco bubble tea dispensary signed leases. Not to mention, Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless. However, one of the stalwarts on this low-rise block might soon fade into […]

Schiller’s Liquor Bar Neons Deposed from Rivington Street

It finally happened. Now one week removed from the closure of Schiller’s Liquor Bar, down comes the neon signage. Reader Mary Kalemkerian sent us the above image of the “Liquor Bar” signage deposed and sitting on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. As previously reported, the fourteen-year-old bar succumbed to a substantial rent hike, […]

Shepard Fairey will Replace Joey Ramone with a Debbie Harry Mural on Bleecker Street

Yesterday afternoon, the two-year-old Joey Ramone mural was whitewashed from the Bleecker Street facade of Saxon + Parole. Two dudes were spotted erasing the artwork with a bucket of beige paint. But it apparently won’t stay blank for long. Word on the street is that Shepard Fairey is on deck to paint the replacement over […]

LES Crepes & Taqueria Wraps Around Hester Street with New Annex

LES Crepes & Taqueria just unveiled its newly improved eat space on Essex Street. Customers are now forced to enter the premises at the corner. No more ordering and waiting for food on the sidewalk. One of the workers explained his pleasure with putting the claustrophobia in the past. By breaking down the wall 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.