Neighborhood Backlash Forces Controversial Hotelier to Abort Holiday Inn Rooftop Bar on Delancey
Suffolk Street is victorious, and hotelier Hank Freid is licking his proverbial wounds.
The controversial hotel operator had been gunning to install an enormous rooftop bar atop the Holiday Inn on Delancey Street. Their plans met instant opposition, spearheaded by the Suffolk Street Block Association and the LES Dwellers. It worked.
In the five months since August, Freid’s Impulsive Group landed on the Community Board 3 agenda for consideration. He wanted to both revamp the basement space (i.e. Retro Bar & Grill) and create a 100-person capacity roof hangout similar to his Haven venue in Times Square. However, all planned appearances were canceled in order to discuss plans with the aforementioned neighborhood groups.
Of great concern to neighbors is the close proximity to a dense residential area comprised of families, elderly, and young children. The affected apparently would not compromise, despite the usual lip-service of soundproofing, traffic studies, and “community benefits.” So, in the end, there was impasse and Freid allegedly pulled out. His counsel reportedly informed District Manager Susan Stetzer that they decided “not to move forward with the project at this time.”
The Haven spinoff project was the second such applicant to vie for this space in the last year. You’ll recall that operators Joe Donagher and Eamon Donnelly were initially chosen to run the replacement food and beverage onsite. Their plan, equally futile, was to revamp the perpetually-empty Retro Bar & Grill in the basement and create a club atop 150 Delancey Street. It met the same vehement opposition and CB3 gave it the boot.