Sixth Ward on Orchard Street Faces Liquor License Revocation by SLA

Posted on: January 9th, 2015 at 5:04 am by
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Judgement day is coming for the Sixth Ward after a drama-filled autumn. The problem child will stand tall before the man the full board of the State Liquor Authority next week to fight for its survival. Until then, it continues to operate with an inactive license which expired on November 30…

A quick recap:

The Sixth Ward was a bait-and-switch operation from the get-go, which originally scored a liquor license on the premise it would become a vegetarian restaurant. That couldn’t be further from the truth seven years on. Not only is the establishment a rowdy ruse, it’s downright dangerous. Most of the focus is trained on the illegal backyard: there is no valid Certificate of Occupancy on file for the entire ground level, nor is there a Public Assembly permit. So maximum assembly in the establishment (including yard, if permitted) is only 74. Backyard use had been approved at the very beginning when the bar claimed legal occupancy of the space. This is not the case.

As for safety, the backyard has one proper egress and, until this past November, a glass house impeded the fire escapes. Happy Land Disco, anyone?

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Sixth Ward backyard dismantled

There were four ECB and twelve SLA violations associated with the premises. As indication of said infractions, the bar removed the glasshouse from the patio two months ago. Some of the violations are pretty serious, like allegedly falsifying documents and changing the method of operation to “sports bar” without proper consent. Sixth Ward ownership attended the SLA disciplinary hearing at the time, and reportedly did not dispute any of the charges.

Neighbors expect that the bar will likely plead no contest at the upcoming full board meeting, take the penalties, pay the fine, but request the Authority not revoke their liquor license.

Community Board 3 – which initially intended to hold the license renewal behind closed doors – ultimately caved to pressure and denied the measure in November. The motion added a clause that any future alteration for the backyard would not be considered.

And, as a post-script, it’s worth noting the crime uptick along Orchard between East Houston and Stanton. According to NYPD stats for 2014, the area in question had 5 felony assaults (0 in 2013), 11 grand larcenies (7 in 2013) and 1 burglary (0 in 2013). The latter burglary allegedly transpired in the 2nd floor apartment above the Sixth Ward.

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