Three Problematic Hell Square Bars Hope to Upgrade to Full Liquor Licenses

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 at 10:09 am by

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The Derby replaces Tiny Fork on Orchard St.

Three Hell Square bars – two of which are newcomers – are headed straight to the State Liquor Authority for blessings regarding OP upgrades and alterations. Each of the establishments received denials from Community Board 3 within the last few months. Below is a quick and dirty update.

The Derby

Controversial owner (and hated neighbor) Rob Shamlian has been trying to obtain a basement alteration for over a year. The bar in The Cellar is currently service only, and Shamlian needs stand-up privileges. His initial application for the change-up – under Tiny Fork – was shot down by both CB3 and the SLA last October.

The application returned in spring 2014 after the morph to The Derby. After the full board overturned the vehement denial in May, it was reconsidered a month later. Denial stuck that time.

The SLA will hear the case – again – this week. What’s interesting here, though, is that the state is still mulling the revocation of the liquor license altogether.

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This establishment has “hoodwink” written all over it. Whynot opened under the guise of a coffee shop, with wine and beer – yet is barely that. Neighbors contend that it’s operating against its stipulations, consistently open past its 1am curfew. There are also reports of promoted parties. Noise is eregious for the “cafe,” sending sound waves up and out. There doesn’t seem to be any soundproofing. Also, the art gallery component was said to comprise 50% of the business, but there’s only been one show since inception.

Whynot had first applied to Community Board 3 for full liquor in October 2013, but the advisory committee asked they withdraw and return for wine and beer instead. Owner Emil Stefkov acquiesced, but still went directly to the SLA for the full monty. The state denied it. Now they’re heading back to try again.

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Amuse Wine Bar

The case to upgrade to full liquor was shot down last month. Community Board 3 took issue with the fact that Amuse wasn’t adhering to its stipulations. Notably, staying open past midnight, not serving food all hours, and having open windows past 9pm. Not to mention, the owners were allegedly hosting illegal unlimited wine specials.

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