CB3 Rubs out Happy Ending with Denial of Liquor License Renewal

Posted on: June 21st, 2016 at 5:00 am by
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Happy Ending is still the scourge of the block, despite its lengthy tenure and subsequent change in ownership. That was the main takeaway from last night’s cumbersome SLA subcommittee meeting for Community Board 3.

Happy Ending is an art bar, remember? That was the concept pitched by co-owner, Oliver Stumm, a couple years ago. In the time since, it’s been more of the same, and battle-hardened neighbors remain stuck in the middle. The applicant decided not to show up at the last minute for its renewal hearing last night (license is up in September). But plenty of neighbors spoke against it, and the panel voted on the issue all the same.

Impassioned opponents mentioned ownership’s non-caring attitude, the alleged bathroom rapes, the encroachment of noisy patrons, velvet ropes, ubiquitous cigarette butts littering the sidewalk, and overall non-compliance with their stated method of operation. It was also revealed that Happy Ending is the number one offender in the 5th Precinct when it comes to resident complaints (roughly 135 calls to 311 in the year ending June 20, 2016). And perhaps most damning, allegations that the food is actually cooked in an apartment upstairs.

In the end, the panel decided to deny the renewal application, yet with the caveat that the State Liquor Authority consider reduce Happy Ending’s hours to conform with its stipulated method of operation (i.e. restaurant/art bar).

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Other nibbles…

  • That LES Junction concept that was looking to take over Paul Seres’ version of St. Jerome’s probably won’t be happening. The deal, according to Susan Stetzer, may have actually fallen apart, which explains the withdrawal three hours before the meeting. The board voted to deny the application anyway.
  • Joe Donagher and Eamon Donnelly, who together opened Barleycorn in Tribeca two years ago, are trying to open a rooftop hang for next summer. It would include 32 tables, 100 seats, an L-shaped bar beneath a retractable canvas covering, and stay open until 4am all nights according to submitted paperwork. Turns out, though, that the principals are not looking to alter the license, rather to apply for a new one altogether. More than a dozen Suffolk Street neighbors were in attendance to oppose the activation of this rooftop, plus another fifteen letters to the CB3 office. The board ultimately forced a withdrawal to submit the proper paperwork for a future agenda.
  • Gelso & Grand’s Nima Garos returned last night to present the proposal for alterations to Gracias Mama for 162 East Broadway. CB3 approved the full OP last month, but deferred to the SLA on measuring the distance to the Church of St. Teresa at 12 Rutgers Street. This revision includes removal of the take-out window, reducing the bar footprint, and relocating the front door (next to the subway entrance) in an attempt to skirt the state’s 200-foot law in order to obtain the liquor license. The panel approved the measure, but is again deferring to the city to determine whether the new entry is legal with DOB and MTA.

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