CB3 Votes to Deny Epstein’s Bar Revival and Shah’s Clubby Mexican Spot ‘Dos Cientos’
The room was packed to the gills, hot, and without proper ventilation. Typical circumstances for a late-night Community Board 3 meeting of the SLA subcommittee. This one dragged well into the wee hours of the night. Fireworks didn’t happen until late.
The potential revival of Epstein’s Bar was one of the marquee applications of the evening, yet it wasn’t heard until around 11pm. This convoluted proposal confused the panel, who couldn’t fully grasp why the applicant (proprietor of 310 Bowery Bar) – Rick Aurigemma – was interested in a new OP license if this was listed at CB3 as a sale of assets. Compounding the confusion was the fact that 82 Stanton Street is not zoned for nightlife; according to DOB records, the tenement should’ve been a clothing store all along, as its official zoning is characterized as use-group class permitting only “sales of clothing.”
During a disciplinary hearing this past February, the State Liquor Authority agreed to renew the license, which had allegedly been in “safe keeping” by the state since closure. A deal was reached in which former owner Erik McMannus would pay a $15,000 fine to settle its various violations, and keep the license from cancelation. The committee ultimately voted to deny the applicant.
The Line Group followed shortly thereafter, and likewise fought to to fill the vacancy at 200 Allen Street with a new Mexican nightspot called Dos Cientos. Much like the other venues in its stable – Sons of Essex, Leave Rochelle Out of It, and the 205 Club – the proposed endeavor carries the combined fingerprints of shady landlord Michael Shah, convicted felon Victor Jung, and James Choung. The CB3 panel didn’t mince words, and unearthed all the dirt about Jung’s criminal past and Shah’s alleged tax evasion. A shouting match ensued between Jung and committee chair Alex Militano.
Saluggi’s East on Grand Street, held over from last month, was unanimously denied, despite strong support from president of the 7th Precinct Community Council, Don West. Vehement opposition from SPaCE and Orchard Street Block Association basically helped sink the application for full liquor. The pizzeria’s arguments for a 4am liquor license after only seven months in business was not enough to sway the board.