Epstein’s Bar Under Fire for Operating Without Proper Certificate of Occupancy; May Close at the End of the Month

Posted on: October 14th, 2014 at 5:29 am by

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Photo: @123Dortiz

A tipster sends along word that Epstein’s Bar is retroactively applying for a Certificate of Occupancy change of the zoning use. Translation = the establishment at 82 Stanton Street has been operating without valid paperwork for over a decade. It’ll reportedly close at the end of the month to get the building up to code.

Let’s dive in…

Schedule A job filings at the DOB confirm that the bro-bar is attempting to switch the existing use group from “sales of clothing” for occupancy of 6 people to “eating and drinking establishment/restaurant” for 50 people. Further, the second and third floors were also listed under the same use, yet the change there is to office space.

But the DOB is not yet on board. Those plans were disapproved last month. Not only that, three “Aggravated Offense Level 2” violations were levied a week after the application was filed (August 21).

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The definition of such an offense: 1) Violating conditions may have resulted in a accident causing serious injury or death or posed a significant risk thereof, or affected a significant number of persons; or 2) respondent failed to provide the Department with requested information in support an an investigation.

As a result, we are now hearing word that Epstein’s Bar will close on October 31 to address these concerns. They desperately need code compliance in order to ensure that that upward expansion happens (i.e. dining and events space). The very expansion that Community Board 3 denied in June. Word on the street is that the two floors of “office space” will thereafter be ready for a transition to nightlife. This will be costly. We’re getting a whiff of that DL scent in these parts…

With regard to renewal of the Epstein’s license, it’s pretty convoluted. Contrary to info obtained last month, it’s not immediately clear whether CB3 recommended denial to the State Liquor Authority. The advisory committee is reportedly being super secretive, not even allowing a public hearing on the matter. Meanwhile, the neighborhood suffers from lack of transparency.

CB3 Chair Gigi Li is certainly on a roll post-election.

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