Sixth Ward on Orchard Street Operates an Illegal Rear Yard, Neighbors Allege

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 at 5:08 am by
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Hair of the Dog might be considered one of the worst operators in Hell Square, but it’s neck-in-neck with the Sixth Ward up the street at 191 Orchard Street. Those are seemingly the sentiments of many residents living within earshot of the bar. At issue with the seven-year-old establishment is its 90-seat beer garden, which is oftentimes a “sporting event broadcast center and open-air party space.”

This backyard usage is completely illegal. Let’s dig into the details.

Neighbors reportedly make repeated complaints to Department of Buildings about the issue, which results in a dispatch of inspectors who record, “No use of backyard seen by inspector.” Obviously that’s bogus. More incriminating, however, is that there is no certificate of occupancy (expired 2007) nor public assembly permit for the oft-rowdy, over-capacity back patio space  This address has actually been denied such permits by the DOB 3 times – 2001, 2007, 2013. Maximum patrons allowed in the establishment (including yard, if permitted) is 74 patrons.

One of the unfortunate admits that, “Even if they close at 10PM on weekdays and 11:30 on weekends, the sound just bounces off the walls. On weekends the party at the Ward starts early, so the din starts at 2PM to when they close that night.” Basically, the garden doubles as an echo chamber for those lucky enough to encircle it.

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The LES Dwellers block association has, not surprisingly, been keeping tabs on the Sixth Ward, and recently sent a comprehensive report to the city and state of its findings. As a result, a DOB Emergency Team inspected and served the landlord with violations including no Certificate of Occupancy, no Public Assembly Permit, no unobstructed egress, that the glass extension constructed without a permit, and that the building fire escape is blocked by the structure. A hearing is scheduled for next month to levy the necessary penalties.

“How an establishment without a proper certificate of occupancy nor a public assembly permit can operate for years is inexplicable,” Diem Boyd of the LES Dwellers tell us. “It is time the businesses who flagrantly break the law as well as local and state ordinances and regulations be held accountable, relieving the burden on law abiding residents and businesses alike.”

The Sixth Ward opened at 191 Orchard in 2007, and is the longest tenant of this space in quite some time. It’s followed a parade of ill-fated nightlife ventures earlier in the decade, including Mooza, Cafe Lika, Heirloom, and lastly, Core 191.

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