- Featured / Eldridge Block Association Scores Victory Against Sapphire Lounge at SLA Hearing
Eldridge Block Association Scores Victory Against Sapphire Lounge at SLA Hearing
Posted on: July 26th, 2013 at 5:23 am by Staff
Last week, the Eldridge Street Block Association (ESBA) went up against the Sapphire Lounge at a State Liquor Authority (SLA) hearing on renewing the bar’s license.
Sapphire has had a contemptuous history on the block. For almost 20 years, neighbors have put up with excessive noise and rowdy crowds outside of the club at 249 Eldridge.
In recent months, ESBA had met repeatedly with Jahan Salarimatin, owner of Sapphire, to try to hammer out stipulations about crowd control, noise levels (both inside the building, and outside on the street), and other issues.They had come to an agreement on all but one of the stipulations, but it was a critical one having to do with the level of noise in the apartments above the club.
At a Communty Board (CB3) hearing back in April, Salarimatin stated he would be renovating the space and including soundproofing. ESBA argued that he had to sign the stipulations before they could support anything. The problematic stipulation specified that the sound in the apartments above the club be “inaudible.” CB3 approved the language after hearing testimony from a large number of residents from many buildings on the block. The board also didn’t love the fact that the club had a complaint history. However, Salarimatin didn’t sign and instead took the case to the SLA last week.
ESBA brought a number of letters from residents in many affected buildings who were directly impacted by the nightclub’s unruly crowds. Aside from the many noise complaints, residents testified that they had been chased down the street by patrons blocking their doorways and had been cursed out and threatened by drunks. The bouncers, they stated, didn’t intervene despite these incidents taking place right in front of the club.
The SLA ruled in ESBA’s favor. Sound tests will now be conducted in the apartments above Sapphire and, once the sound levels are agreed upon (with a rep from CB3 there to mediate), even if they are BELOW the standard city code (which is often too loud inside apartments), that sound level will be written into the stipulations. Salarimatin needs to then sign the stipulations in order to keep his liquor license. This ruling is a huge victory for the neighborhood and, hopefully, this will set a precedent with other blocks who are having similar problems.
The chairman of the SLA said that the decision was directly influenced by the fact that tenants physically came to the hearing and spoke about the problems. And learning that the block association had reached out and attempted to resolve issues was also a significant factor in the SLA’s determination that the residents were acting as rational, logical neighbors who are just trying coexist peacefully with the businesses on their block while also getting some sleep.
Many block associations are finding that it is crucial to get as many tenants as possible who are DIRECTLY impacted by problems from bars and clubs to testify at these hearings. The SLA hearings, though, are during the day, so those who spoke had to take off from work in order to testify. But after nearly 20 years of not sleeping and being harassed, it was worth their time.
The SLA hearing, both video and audio are available here (July 17th/first listing/01:56:54 – 02:45:37).
ESBA and other block associations have been spreading the word that, to complain about noise and other problems, tenants must call 311, get a complaint number, and then ALSO go to the “complaint page” on the CB3 website to give them that complaint number. And if it is really bad, you need to call the police as well.
Note: after calling 311, you don’t have to immediately file the CB3 complaint. You can instead attempt to get some sleep and do it later that day. Unfortunately, if you only call 311 and do not also file the complaint information online with CB3, they will not have a complaint history. That complaint history is crucial at CB3 and SLA hearings.
The dominoes on the Bowery continue to fall. Word just came down the pike that the long-vacant stretch of former lighting stores comprising 134-142 Bowery sold for an astonishing price. The five contiguous buildings netted $45.25 million for the respective owners. Total buildable square-footage is approximately 75,000 square-feet. Jan Sasson, president of E Property Group represented […]
For one day only, 189 Allen Street will be the Hernandez “Fun” Houses. The NYCHA property joined forces with the LES Dwellers and numerous local businesses to provide Halloween activities for local youth. Tomorrow evening is the first annual Halloween Costume Party and Food Drive, to be held in the Resident Association room. The “Haunted […]
Two years ago this past March, midtown lost one of the last vestiges of its seedy past – the porn shop and nudie booth near Penn Station called Peep World. However, selling sex will remain a central component of the newcomer at 155 West 33rd Street, albeit in a manner more socially acceptable. Original Hooters […]
The second location of Galli Restaurant officially opened in Hell Square Tuesday evening after a weekend of trials. 98 Rivington Street had spent the better part of a year under the knife, ever since ‘inoteca ended its decade-plus run at the address last February. Decor seemingly skews swank, and carries a less homey feel than its […]
Authorities have not forgotten about the rental van driver who plowed through the north crosswalk at Elizabeth and Kenmare last month, killing an 82-year-old Chinese woman. Even though an arrest was not made after the September 25 incident, the investigation remains ongoing. A consortium of councilmembers also called for charges against the driver responsible for […]
It was the first permanent, municipally-built playground in the United States, yet Seward Park receives little love outside the history books. What began a project by the Outdoor Recreation League (Lillian Wald and Charles Stover) to get kids off the streets was eventually snatched up by the City of New York. Rarely is this past […]
It’s been a rough few months (nay, years), but looks like Lucky Cheng’s is making a solid comeback. The cabaret – popular for bachelorette parties – had relocated to Times Square from its longtime First Avenue perch back in 2012. It was never quite the same. Two years later, owner Hayne Suthon passed away of breast […]
It’s been nearly two years since Mother Nature’s fury took the form of Hurricane Sandy, destroying more or less everything in her path. As a part of the “always be prepared” and “never forget” mindset, the Lower East Side Long Term Recovery Group is reinforcing awareness by hosting a “Remembering Sandy” gathering of sorts. It’s a part of the group’s […]
Mei Sin Deli & Grocery at the southwest corner of Allen and Hester Streets was a frequent target of the city. On numerous occasions throughout the years, the Chinese bodega at 84 Hester (aka 37 Allen) was shut down for various transgressions. Usually, we are told, due to illegally selling cigarettes from North Carolina. It […]
Local activists kept the faith and a Lower East Side icon was saved. Thanks to the grassroots efforts of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and its supporters, the 150-year-old German Romanesque-style Tifereth Israel Town and Village Synagogue at 334 East 14th Street is now officially designated a city landmark. The Landmarks Preservation Commission decreed the protective […]