Ainsworth Owner Gets CB3 Nod for ‘Clancey’ on Clinton; Two-Bit’s Denied Full Liquor Upgrade

Posted on: September 13th, 2016 at 9:27 am by
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Last night was one of the most empty Community Board 3 meetings we’ve ever seen. The agenda for applicants was fairly pared down as well. Herewith, a crib sheet of select results from the SLA subcommittee.

Clancey, 79 Clinton Street

Todd Birnbaum and Dennis Bogart are looking to take over the former Yunnan Kitchen space on Clinton Street. Since their appearance (and withdrawal) on the docket last month, there has reportedly been lots of worry that this “eclectic American” concept would become a sports bar given the size of the space and pedigree of the principals (Ainsworth, The Hill).

The Suffolk Street Block Association and the LES Dwellers fought back the full liquor application on several points, and CB3 voted to approve. In the end, Birnbaum and Bogart agreed to one television and not to “operate a sports bar of any kind.” Hours are Sunday through Thursday until 12am, weekends 2am.

Hemlock Restaurant, 65 Rivington Street

Miller’s Near & Far faded into obscurity last month after three years at 65 Rivington Street. A reboot last year wasn’t enough to prop up the bottom line. One Diego Moya – sous chef at Casa Mono in Union Square – sought an asset purchase (full OP) in order to install his new fourteen-table concept, Hemlock Restaurant. It’ll specialize in “New American cuisine with focus on vegetables.”

The only hitch to the application was the simultaneous pitch for a five-table sidewalk cafe. Neighbors across the street spoke in opposition due to the increased noise, but weren’t against the restaurant application itself. The board carried unanimous approval.

The Idea Distillery, 21 Clinton Street

TED Talks alumnus Ben Lillie is one step closer to opening an interesting new events space at the former COW Theater on Clinton Street. CB3 approved his bid for beer-wine at The Idea Distillery, which will host ticketed educational lectures with a focus on science. By way of example, the last show at a third-party location was a comedy bit called “Very Serious Science,” in which a trio of comedians – joined by scientists at Mount Sinai – commented on scientific presentations using slides they never saw before.

The subterranean space will also host stand-up comedy, poetry readings, and experts in focused topics such as history and literature.

Two-Bit’s Retro Arcade, 153 Essex Street

The four-year-old bar arcade appeared for an upgrade to full liquor at 153 Essex Street. Unfortunately for the owner, that didn’t happen. The panel upheld the “public benefit standard” and decided to deny the upgrade. Members admitted how over-saturated this area is.

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