Notes from CB3: Preserve 24 and Sunshine Cinema Denied

Posted on: December 12th, 2012 at 6:48 am by and

It took us a hot minute to gather all the notes from Monday’s SLA meeting for Community Board 3. The following is a play-by-play of sorts for some of the applicants. Most notable, of course, was the cold shoulder given to Sunshine Cinema for its “dinner-and-a-movie” proposition a la Nitehawk Cinema. Let’s recap a bit…

Sunshine Cinema
They were going for an OP/full liquor license, which would include a bar on the 2nd floor and converting every seat to allow a small table and an area for a drink. Service would be at the bar and also at each seat, inside each theater, with staffers taking food and drink orders. Brass wants to install larger seats (they claim it will be more comfortable while eating/drinking at the seat) and start reserved seating, so they are talking about around 700 seats, plus around 64 seats in the lounge/lobby and bar areas. Kitchen would be downstairs in the basement, with a known chef – Alan Lake.

Members of First Street and Eldridge Street Block Associations spoke. Both groups agreed to support only a beer and wine license, with very strict stipulations. The rep for the Landmarks Cinema (corporation that owns 57 theaters in the US) spoke, and the manager of the theater, along with the architect, were in attendance (neither spoke). Sunshine rep Mike Fant said that their lease is up for renewal next year, and do not know if they can renew without the full liquor license. They said they are currently making a profit, but need to make more, to keep going with the higher rent on their lease. CB3 was VERY upset that the people from the Sunshine were not able to collect a single name on their petition, to support the liquor license, and kept calling their application “incomplete.”

Since Sunshine was unprepared, they withdrew their application.

Double Wide, 505 East 12th Street
Bar which pretends to be a restaurant. They were called in by the SLA, because of the complaint record on this place. Severe noise in the backyard and severe noise on street. Up for liquor license renewal early next year. Huge number of 311 complaints. One person showed video of the rowdy crowd outside on a given night, and another person showed photographs of the scene outside. Apparently they were called in to be told to clean up their act.

Preserve 24, 175-177 East Houston St
Applied for an enclosed sidewalk cafe, as previously reported. It would be a vestibule for the Allen Street entrance and extend into the sidewalk five feet. It was turned down. Mark Russ Federman of Russ and Daughters spoke in opposition, claiming it was illegal.

Pride and Joy, 24 1st Avenue
The owner who wants to take over the Lucky Cheng’s space managed to insult drag queens AND vegetarians, almost immediately, by stating that he “wasn’t going to have no drag queens at this place.” In response to his quip, a board member stated, “if you’re going to be coming into NY, you should figure out how to get along with vegetarians.” The same holds true for drag queens! (Apparently, the owner of Lucky Cheng’s was there, to testify that this guy had a long track record, with restaurants in Miami and Georgia, and that he was a good neighbor. After further questioning, he said he’s only had those other restaurants for 2 months. Clearly, the Lucky Cheng’s owner wants to rent her space quickly, and was going to say anything to support this guy).

Apartment 13 (previously the Porch), 115 Avenue C
One of the partners, Paul Seres, is involved with the DL, so there was a ton of animosity about them getting a full liquor license. Pushing the fact that they would be a high-end restaurant, their lawyer actually said this: “restaurants require OP, it’s bars that can live on beer and wine in this city.” This then elicited a heated debate over whether or not Ariel Palitz could vote on this application, because she had some sort of relationship with one of the previous owners.

At 10pm, we had to move from JASA on 5th st, to the 4th st location, amidst a lot of grumbling over how much more there was to go. Apartment 13 was #10 and had 16 more items on the agenda. Seres and company ultimately received the go-ahead. We feel bad for those living in the vicinity…

88 KTV, 97 Bowery
The Karaoke bar wanted to add a 4th floor, and extend their hours to 4am every night. Ariel Palitz was all for it (big surprise). The motion was approved, so long as long as they continued to operate as small rooms, with security provided.

Double Down Saloon, 14 Avenue A
Requested to remove their kitchen for more space, an area which hasn’t been in use for a few years. It’s currently a bike storage room for the employees. They were previously busted for selling to a minor, and also sold without a license in the past, so the board was tough on them, but they were approved.

Coopers Craft and Kitchen, 87 2nd Avenue
Wanted to extend hours. Approved.

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  • too lazy too sign-in

    Double Wide — “Bar which pretends to be a restaurant.” Aren’t most joints in the LES are like this nowadays?

    As
    for Sunshine, I’m on the fence on this one. I don’t think they need a
    full liquor license to survive. Beer and wine license would keep them
    afloat. If they can expand their coffee selection, and perhaps tea also,
    and make the second floor a coffee shop that serves beer and wine and
    make the service better, I think they can be the next hip spot in the
    LES.

    But I can see on how they’re trying to be like the Nighthawk
    Cinemas in Brooklyn. The problem is Sunshine is in the LES, where it’s
    already saturated with joints that are bars pretending to be restaurants.
    Nitehawk in Brooklyn is in isolated area. But then again, if CB3 denies
    Sunshine, they better deny a full liquor license to Pride and Joy,
    which won’t happen. And CB3 has no problem approving full liquor
    licenses to Hair of the Dog and similar places. CB3, arbitrary.