Notes from CB3: Cochinita Dos Denied Full Liquor, Bikinis Denied Expansion
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1 Ludlow St.
This month’s SLA agenda for Community Board 3 was rather light on the “big ticket” applicants. But last night’s subcommittee meeting was not without its drama. Herewith, a brief breakdown of the action.
Gaia Lounge, 103 East 2nd Street
This is the hookah bar that relocated from Temple of Ankh on Clinton Street, an establishment with the apparent distinction of garnering the most complaints in all of Community Board 3. When the operation shuttered last year (part of a buyout for condo development; they surrendered the license to SLA), a sign out front misled the neighborhood, in that it claimed the business moved up to East Second. Though, that’s not entirely the case. The applicant was a waiter (or thereabouts) and wanted to benefit from the name to retain the crowd.
The applicant was denied a wine and beer license due to his lack of experience and the shady halo effect from Temple of Ankh; and also the fact that the hookah joint next door was also denied several times in the past. However, the SLA will probably just rubber stamp it anyway…
Cochinita Dos, 49 Canal Street
The second iteration of Brooklyn-based Cochinita might not happen. The proposed Mexican joint in the former Overseas Taste restaurant met with mixed results.
Owner Adam Frank had previously agreed to stipulations (mainly hours of operation) with the SPACE block association to help win over his case. But that didnt work. It was a close vote. The panel deemed it too “quick serve” to merit a full liquor license, despite the presence of only a service bar and his A+ outreach to the community. Mr. Frank quipped that he’ll be forced to back out of the lease now; though that may have been a tactic to say to the board. They’ll probably go straight to the SLA.
Three Points, 1 Ludlow Street
Three Points would be located directly across the street from where Cochinitia Dos wants to put down roots. At Ross Morgan’s 1 Ludlow Street. Its application was in total contrast to the latter. A paperwork snafu resulted in the wrong information published to the public record. The business is actually dubbed a “Naples Pizza Bar,” with brick oven and dining room on the lower level.
The Three Points crew – Paul Italia (The Stand), Shingo Gokan (Angel’s Share), and Luigi Porceddu (Numero 28) – collectively opted to withdraw to obtain additional community support.
Bikinis, 56 Avenue C
Bikinis elicited the most drama of the evening. Several tenants from 56 Avenue C (and nearby) turned out to oppose the application to extend the license to include the adjacent storefront, as well as the enclosed rear patio space. Their testimony of opposition included photo documentation showing the establishment is indeed a scourge on the block that operates beyond its method of operation. One resident even said that the build-out of the bar caused a fire in the basement, and that life has been miserable for all ever since.
Co-owner Petrit Pula’s application called for twenty seats in the rear yard, which was of immediate concern to all the apartments surrounding that space. We learned that the long-timers in 56 Avenue C had agreed over the years never to use the patio so as not to bother each other. Also, calling the adjacent storefront a “gallery” rubbed pretty much everyone in the room the wrong way, even though Pula claimed it’d be used as both a waiting area and for periodic shows.
Ultimately, the panel voted to deny Bikinis a full liquor license.