SLA Changes Its Mind, Awards Liquor License to Peter Poulakakos at 146 Bowery

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 at 5:11 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

Ever since last October, when the State Liquor Authority denied Peter Poulakakos (Dead Rabbit Tavern) a full liquor license to operate at 146 Bowery, the corner store has been stagnating behind rotten, tattered plywood. But the fight never actually ended. Behind the scenes, wheels were in motion to ensure that their 150-seat restaurant vision would materialize here in the old home of Lite Elite. That’s precisely what happened, and now the block-long Sohotel building sports four licenses to its name.

Here’s the skinny.

It took fewer than 90 days for the SLA to acquiesce to a “reconsideration” of the original application. The board revisited the matter during an hour-long sesh in mid-January, where Poulakakos and his crew escaped victorious. They made some changes to the method of operation in the interim, including a reduction of capacity on both levels and curtailing hours.

Through a collection of endorsements from artists and local charity organizations, the applicant demonstrated the so-called public benefit of adding another OP license in this saturated area. For example, the ACE homeless employment program wheeled out their support, saying that Poulakakos has already hired staff from their ranks. Neighborhood artist Marguerite Van Cook also showed her support, as she was told that the restaurant would offer a haven to local artists to showcase their work. Apparently there’s some sort of partnership in the works with the Howl! Arts Festival, the organization for which she is managing director.

The applicants also invited the principal from the Sam Schwartz Engineering firm to discuss traffic vis-a-vis the new establishment. His conclusion was that there wouldn’t be an adverse effect on traffic as it stands. And that volume actually decreases in the evenings (12 vehicles/hour on weekdays; 10 vehicles/hour on weekends). But what about the cumulative factor of vehicle trips to all the bars within 500 feet?

The opposition – anchored by testimonies from the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and CB2 SLA co-chair Carter Booth – towed the party line of enough is enough over here. They called attention to the fact that the traffic study was likely bogus since it was based upon a data set used for Osteria Morini, and failed to take into account matters like double-parking and an overwhelming number of taxis. There was also an inference made that this firm is for sale among operators for its favorable reports.

For a minute, it seemed like the SLA wouldn’t give in. But they did. Their main sticking point was with regard to the basement. Poulakakos dubbed it a lounge, and scaled back its capacity to 50 patrons, and no standing at the bar. The intention of the basement is apparently for overflow. Chairman Rosen was initially skeptical about a possible bait-and-switch, yet let it ride anyway.

The liquor license approval was contingent on including the following stipulations on the paper itself – curtailing hours for both levels to 2am all nights, with the caveat that the basement is only open to restaurant patrons after 1am on weekends.

Recent Stories

The Year of the Rat Scurries In

It’s the Year of the Rat! This week marks the 21st year of New York City’s Lunar New Year celebration, and no doubt the organizers are scurrying around in preparation for a veritable smorgasbord of festivities. As in years past, the festivities will kick off with the explosive Firecracker Ceremony Saturday morning at 11:00am (January 25) […]

Public Hotel-Adjacent Condo Ascends 4 Stories

The north end of Chrystie Street continues its gilded march toward luxury. Despite the scruffy park at its doorstep. Owner-developer KD Sagamore, which scooped up 199 and 201 Chrystie over the last several years for a combined $20 million, filed for re-development back in December 2017. The plans included merging both parcels into one tax lot, […]

Fat Baby Replacement Evicted Before Ever Opening

The Fat Baby space is again up for grabs. Eviction papers were taped to the door last week, indicating that the latest proposal for the Suave Bar and Restaurant is dead in the water. Suave was the third suitor in the last year for 112 Rivington Street. Principal Erinson Salce (of Sahara East on First […]

Christopher Marte Launches City Council Campaign for 2021

Christopher Marte is jumping back into the City Council election ring. With three-time Councilmember Margaret Chin terming out next year, the local politician is looking to capitalize early on the District 1 seat. Essentially building on the momentum he created during the 2017 election that gave Chin a run for her money. (The incumbent squeaked […]

The Delancey Street ‘Rainbow’ is No More

Discount retailer, Rainbow, is no longer part of the Lower East Side landscape. The longtime store at 110 Delancey Street is now closed up for good. Employees told us back in October that the lease expired, and wasn’t renewed. This particular store had been at 110 Delancey for well over a decade. At one point […]