Notes from CB3: EMM Group Approved for 199 Bowery; BAD Burger Denied

Posted on: January 10th, 2012 at 6:43 am by

Contrary to our initial thoughts, the BCS Championship game last night had little to no impact on the attendance at the Community Board 3 SLA meeting.  In fact, it was more packed than we’ve seen it in some time, with the dozen or so applicants all corralled in the back of the room. Herewith, some notes after sitting through about half the meeting (9:15 pm).

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EMM Group at 199 Bowery

EMM Group showed up to pitch their Meatpacking-ish restaurant concept for 199 Bowery. Polished and well-groomed, and armed with a supposedly stellar track record, the team predictably put forth the frontline bakery concept as bait.  Plans are to open this component at 6 am for coffee and such, and expand to a luncheonette during early afternoon hours.  Much like Beauty & Essex with their “pawn shop,” the main dining room will reside behind the bakery, and serve small-plate Asian fusion.  The basement, in what was Crash Mansion, will have more “casual” dining with live Jazz band ambiance. And in the kitchen – Franklin Becker is head chef, 2007 Top Chef winner Hung Huynh is involved, and Thiago Silva is pastry chef.

Most of the folks who signed up to speak were for the establishment, including the 199 Bowery condo association and the Lower East Side BID.  Despite the limited backlash from the locals, the board ultimately seemed wowed by their outreach and plan proactiveness, and wasn’t worried in the least about the 4 am/all days closing time.  There’s no stopping the deluge of nightlife down the Bowery…

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Hair of the Dog at 168 Orchard

The NYC Best Bars operators popped in for their sidewalk cafe application. Before the meeting, Hair of the Dog had a change of heart and scaled back its plans to 12 tables and 24 seats (from 15 and 30 respectively). The outdoor dining will occupy both the Orchard and Stanton Street frontage, and include a retractable awning.

CB3 initially put up a solid front stating that this nook of the neighborhood was already aggravated with nightlife issues ranging from noise to crime. But David McWater praised them as being a “gold standard” as far as bar operators are considered, which resulted in a unanimous approval.

BAD Burger at 171 Avenue A

This was one of the more drawn out applicants of the evening. Not surprising given owner Keith Masco’s track record.  Masco sought a wine and beer license, and backyard occupancy for his seven-week restaurant.  Neighbors weren’t happy, and seven attended to argue against claims of a “public benefit” to the community.  The board seemed to side a bit with the community, but signaled that approval would be easier if he was willing to give on a few issues.  Namely the hours serving the alcohol and ditching the outdoors concept. Masco wouldn’t budge, and said “just deny it, just deny it.” CB3 obliged.

During the 45 minute presentation, we also learned that the certificate of occupancy for the space expired four years ago, and that there’s no certificate for the backyard anyway. Masco quoatable: “People don’t move to Avenue A for quiet.”

Goat Town at 511 East 5th Street

Aside from a disgruntled building resident, many residents in the vicinity threw their support behind the Goat for a full upgrade to liquor.  CB3 didn’t see anything wrong with that, and approved the motion.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit the EZ Flow Chart Chittle designed for us

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