Swedish Fish Vying for 168 Bowery Despite Community Opposition

Posted on: June 11th, 2012 at 6:09 am by

The short-lived Bowery Ale House concept had zero luck scoring the corner commercial at 168 Bowery; the same fate befell the runner-up applicant, “1032 Lexington Rest., TBD/Hessel & Horn.” The restaurant proposed to CB2 back in January – Swedish Fish – was described as a “Scandinavian cafe-restaurant with a focus on healthy, sustainable menu items.” Principals behind the venture, who also run Brinkley’s and the Southside Night Club a few blocks away, were unanimously denied [PDF] on-premise privileges by the full board.

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But these guys won’t take no for an answer, and are unsurprisingly heading straight to the State Liquor Authority for a verdict (here’s the listing). Despite the denial by the community. To combat the arrival of yet another drinking establishment in this neck of the woods, an online petition was recently forged and is currently making the rounds.

Here’s a snippet from the petition:

This area is overly saturated with drinking establishments and their annoyingly loud, inebriated and puking patrons. These places also supply ear-splitting music and contribute to vehicular, as well as pedestrian traffic congestion. There already exists an overabundance of eating and drinking places in this area – we neither need, nor want another.

There is more necessity in the public interest here for a diverse retail mix.

A serious cause for concern is that this is a highly trafficked area – the convergence of two major vehicular arteries – The Bowery & Delancey/Kenmare sts. are truck and car routes – conduits for 3 bridges and a tunnel. Always very congested. Emergency service vehicles have extreme difficulty passing through…..and this during the daytime with traffic agents on duty. At night this is much worse – no traffic agents are present and the intersection resembles a jigsaw puzzle of cars and large trucks. There is a high volume of trucks!

The restaurant/bar application proposed for the address 168 Bowery (SW corner Bowery/Kenmare st.) – Hessel & Horn / serial # 1261019 would have an adverse effect on pedestrian safety and vehicular traffic.

The location of this application is the SW corner of the Bowery and Kenmare st., which abuts a recent narrowing of the Bowery with a traffic island for the traffic-light coordinated turn from Delancey heading west onto the Bowery facing south. This has proven to be a particularly dangerous, and lethal, corner for pedestrians and cyclists. There is also a city bus stop on this corner. The addition of a bar with its attendant crowd of cars and patrons is unconscionable! The idling cars awaiting possible fares; the dropping off of fares – slow payment causing further blockage of traffic; the inevitable accompaniment of blaring horns. All this will exacerbate already poorly maintained traffic conditions.

The Swedish Fishes will appear before the SLA at their city HQ on June 20 at 10 am. Location is 317 Lenox Avenue. Be sure to sign the petition.

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