Notes from CB3: Spitzer’s and 100 Montaditos Denied
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Hell Square scored mixed results at last night’s SLA subcommittee meeting, yet the real story was the LES Dwellers showcasing their strengething muscle on the nightlife landscape. Everything they opposed was denied by the CB3 panel. And for the first time, the block association supported a couple of the applicants. Below are some notes from the front lines.
Tre – 173 Ludlow Street
The five-year-old Italian restaurant was hoisted on the proverbial back of the community as an exemplary model of nightlife operations. LES Dwellers noted their harmonious business practices, and willingness to comply with the quality of life concerns of neighbors. So it really wasn’t surprising that there was no dissent to the request for upgrading to an on-premise license. It also came to pass that Tre is looking to begin offering morning service, filling the void left by the recent departures of Pink Pony and D’Espresso. This one sailed through easily.
Rouge NY – 94 Rivington Street
This is the wine bar that seeks to replace the former bodega at 94 Rivington, located within a resolution area. Billed as a “quiet place to relax,” the small footprint would not have a full kitchen. Therefore, not a restaurant. The board ultimately denied the beer/wine application due to lack of proprietor experience, an unwillingness to support additional congestion on the block, and the fact that the address wasn’t previously licensed.
Spitzer’s Corner – 101 Rivington Street
Spitzer’s Corner had twice previously applied for various levels of sidewalk dining. On both occasions, the nightspot was denied by Community Board 3, successfully deterred by elements of what would eventually become the Dwellers. And so it was last night. The combined force of the NIMBY group and the voice of the building residents helped CB3 reach a denial.
Amuse Wine Bar – 121 Ludlow
Tromba is barely seven months out of the gate, and is already looking to sell its assets to a trio who wishes to open a wine bar with live jazz. The address is simply hexed, having hosted four failed ventures in five years. The current application for wine and beer was met with plenty of resistance by both the public and the sitting subcommittee. Much of the concern centered on whether to treat the entity as a new application since it’s already licensed. The Amuse folk were basically banking on the poor reputation of Tromba to aid their cause. Even though applicants were willing to make concessions like scaling back hours, the motion ultimately did not carry.
100 Montaditos – 177 Ludlow Street
EarthMatters sought its revenge from the grave, not allowing a replacement so easily at 177 Ludlow. The fast food cerveceria Spanish chain 100 Montaditos applied for the storefront, but met resistance from the community. They were denied a wine and beer license.
Slipper Room – 167 Orchard Street
Owner James Habacker was the first to speak, addressing complaints about noise levels at the popular burlesque palace. We learned that the Slipper Room soundproofed bedrooms in the neighboring building out of pocket, spending $4,500 on the job. The LES Dwellers endorsed the business as a “cultural member of the community,” and supported their bid for a license renewal. No vote was taken.
In a public comment after the six-hour marathon, Diem Boyd of Dwellers noted: “We understand that most applicants who were denied at the community board level will take their chance with the SLA. The Dwellers are prepared for this, and ready to fight all applications at the highest level as needed to help restore balance in the community between residents and businesses.”