Chinese Tuxedo Tries Again for 5 Doyers Street
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For a minute there, Chinese Tuxedo had ceased remodeling efforts inside Doyers Street. An extended period of quiet during part of September. But the Chinatown carpetbaggers are back in action, ready to get one over on the neighborhood.
Later tonight, principals Eddy Buckingham and Hok Lam will appear before Community Board 3 for a beer-wine license at 5 Doyers Street. You’ll recall the two future operators tried for the OP back in April, but CB3 unanimously denied. There had been immediate opposition thanks to the gargantuan nature of its plans – a 190-seat establishment that offers “traditional Cantonese” food in a “modern setting.” Wilson Tang, owner of the neighboring Nom Wah Tea Parlor, opposed the venture; disgraced CB3 chair (and Pell Street resident) Gigi Li wrote a statement that Chinese Tuxedo belongs on an avenue.
Undeterred, Buckingham and Lam then went straight to the State Liquor Authority to bypass the community altogether. By applying for a wine-beer license instead, the well-known gateway to full liquor. The SLA caught on to the bait-and-switch tactics, and subsequently sent the application back down to CB3 for reconsideration.
Some local residents and leaders, led by CB3 member Karlin Chan, have been meeting with the lawyers of Chinese Tuxedo to iron out an agreement over license. The two sides agreed (signed and notarized) on the following: 18-month waiting period from day of opening before applying for full liquor license, French doors sound insulated and close daily at 10pm, and no ticketed events or live music.
This extended period will give the community time to document potential violations ahead of the inevitable upgrade.