‘Gracias Mama’ Begins Build-out at 162 East Broadway as Opposition Mounts

Posted on: September 21st, 2016 at 5:13 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

Interior build-out just began at Gracias Mama, the controversial taqueria from the minds behind Gelso & Grand. While permits for the job were issued by the Department of Buildings last month, actual work commenced a few weeks ago. And it’s already progressing at quite a clip.

Here is a peek at the guts of 162 East Broadway, which combined both the former Chinese bakery and newsstand into the overall footprint.

This image has been archived or removed.

Yet, what makes this proposed establishment an enemy to many is its placement within proximity to houses of worship and above a heavily-trafficked subway station. The argument essentially revolves around the front door.

Co-owners Koorosh Bakhtiar and Nima Garos moved the entrance to Gracias Mama around the corner to the old Chinese newsstand. The change in plans was basically an effort to circumvent the 200-foot law in effect due to St. Teresa’s church at 16-18 Rutgers.

Opponents argue that a nightspot here will also exacerbate the overall congestion here. It’ll join a combined mass of humanity from the subway entrance, the busy southbound M9 bus stop, the nine intercity bus depots (legal and illegal), and all the bag-toting commuters that follow.

This image has been archived or removed.

Nevertheless, Community Board 3 sought fit to approve the full liquor license, but deferred to the State Liquor Authority regarding the legality of distance. The MTA, meanwhile, thinks the entrance on Rutgers Street won’t cause any crowding issues. “This is not a situation unique to this business or street or subway entrance,” the agency previously told The Villager in a statement.

A grassroots community coalition consisting of LES Dwellers, the Orchard Street Block Association, the Knickerbocker Tenants Association, and Residents of Two Bridges remains committed to fighting the application. (There is still an active petition if you’re against the spot.)

Obviously, Bakhtiar and Garos feel confident enough in scoring full liquor to proceed at such an accelerated pace.

Recent Stories

Onlookers Rush to Lift SUV from Atop Pedestrian on Delancey Street [VIDEO]

Did you happen to see this clip from yesterday evening? An SUV driver purportedly hit a pedestrian on the doorstep of Essex Crossing, in the intersection of Delancey and Norfolk Street. Seeing the accident unfold, several pedestrians rush to the vehicle in order to literally lift it from atop the victim. Apparently her ankle was […]

On the ‘Ground’ with the New Madison Street Soccer Pitch

In the month-and-change since we broke the news, the large-scale indoor soccer field on Madison Street is making quick progress. Transforming a long-vacant commercial warehouse on the edge of Chinatown. Last week, The Ground, which was founded last year around the corner on Monroe, made the expansion official by whitewashing 130 Madison and imparting branded […]

Bubble Tea Goes Belly up on Ludlow Street

On Ludlow Street, Tsaôcaa & Bào Follows Juicy Spot into the ground. The bubble tea and munchies spot closed down less than nine months from launch. And just a few months after it rebranded itself as Hey Tea & Hey Chick. Its Hell Square occupancy came to conclusion at the end of the year. Signage […]

With its Archives Destroyed by Fire, Chinatown Museum Raises $50K+ in Relief

On the eve of Lunar New Year, a devastating five-alarm fire tore through an anchor of the Chinatown community. The decimation of 70 Mulberry Street was a major blow to the fabric of the community. The building – erected as Public School 23 in 1892 – has housed numerous cultural and social service organizations since […]

New Condos Teased at 15-Story ‘One Essex Crossing’

Each month brings more significant updates for Essex Crossing. On the heels of the International Center of Photography launching its new flagship, the billion-dollar Lower East Side development this week rolled out more info about the CetraRuddy-designed condo tower at 202 Broome Street (aka Site 3). Dubbed One Essex Crossing, the fifteen-story newcomer features 83 […]