Milkshake Mavens ‘Black Tap’ will Further Exacerbate Ludlow Street Congestion, CB3 Argues

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 at 5:19 am by
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The milkshake mavens at Black Tap scored approval last night from Community Board 3 for beer-wine at 177 Ludlow Street. Whether they take the deal or not, however, is another story.

As previously reported, Joe Isidori and partner Christopher Barish seek a beer-wine complement to the burgers and shakes at Black Tap LES. We learned that the Lower East Side outpost would serve the singular function of easing the burden at the SoHo location.

With a hint of denial in the air, the SLA subcommittee stood firm on its decision to grant approval contingent upon strict crowd management. “We want no line … this location can’t afford it,” chair Alex Militano prefaced the judgement. And with good reason: the flagship Broome Street location sees deep queues lasting more than two hours. That would be a recipe for disaster at 177 Ludlow Street, a heavily-saturated block where sidewalks are narrow, garbage is stacked high, streets bottlenecked, and drunks on the loose.

“We think the area could use something like this,” Isidore told the room. He went on to explain that Black Tap is foremost a family-friendly establishment whose clientele is mainly tweens and millenials. (Alcohol sales apparently count only 6% of gross at Broome Street.) The applicants acknowledged that crowds are part of the package, and that they could only control the congregating to a certain extent. CB3 wholeheartedly agreed, but took the opposite argument; Ludlow Street can’t handle more congestion.

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Joe Isidori at Community Board 3, August 2016

The panel didn’t budge on the sticking point of “best efforts” to control lines, rather than zero lines, and reduced hours to 12:30am closing times. It was clear they didn’t want this business here. The resolution to approve reflected that.

Landlord Samy Mahfar didn’t come up in conversation this time around…

Other Bites:

  • Trapizzino was approved for beer-wine at what’s now Goodfella’s Pizza. The latter business will fold in the coming weeks. Principal Luca Vincenzini will bring “authentic street food from Rome” to this corner of the Lower East Side. They admitted that alcohol was “not their mission,” that they only wanted to bring this fad-like food (i.e. pizza pockets) to the area at an affordable price point. CB3 gave a green light based on the stipulation held by Goodfella’s.
  • Red Compass pitched the board for an upgrade to full liquor, pleading financial hardship at 154 Orchard Street. Makes sense; this is a cursed space and there are rarely people in there. The members were in agreement that the owner wasn’t open for long enough (since January 2016), isn’t adhering to previous stipulations, and couldn’t prove public benefit of an added liquor license. The alteration was unanimously denied.
  • Cholo Noir returned for the second time this summer for a full OP at 503 East 6th Street, but left empty-handed. Principals Lennard Camarillo and Arlene Lozano championed the Chicano culture, cuisine, and art that would serve as backbone to the establishment. There would be an authentic vibe imported from the West Coast; street artist Chico would be the first artist in a monthly rotation of work. CB3 wasn’t so much feeling it, and denied the application. Camarillo and Lozano had already signed a lease and broken ground on construction, though.

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