Controversial Park Slope Bar Owner Angling for 106 Rivington Street
A fight is brewing at 106 Rivington Street, and it wouldn’t be the first time.
Indeed, the sub-level commercial space boasts a recent history of angering neighbors. It was 2013 when the last round of fighting concluded in defeat for a bold nightlife concept here. Enrique Cruz – previously a sitting member of Community Board 3 – had been part of the team (along with Jose Orlando Rodriguez and Robert Payne) behind a proposed two-story Latin-themed restaurant. The plan received instant backlash from locals and ultimately proved unsuccessful.
Five years later, 106 Rivington is again on the nightlife radar. The principal behind problematic Park Slope bar Woodland, Akiva Ofshtein, joined partner Aleksander Gutgarts in seeking a 4am liquor license for this unlicensed space. Application materials were first revealed two months ago for what the team described as an “Asian fusion” concept. (Even though Department of Buildings filings show the installation of a grill, pizza oven, and ten-burner range.)
However, locals are sounding the alarm given the outer-borough track record of Ofshtein. According to a dispatch in BKLYNER last spring, the six-year-old Woodland venue is apparently a source of constant complaints in the community, ranging from public drunkenness to loud music and violence.
Meanwhile, in a recent email circular sponsored by the LES Dwellers, the block association speculates that using the unlicensed Rivington store could be a Plan B of sorts for the Woodland business. They point out that Woodland is operating under State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA), which allows owners to continue serving alcohol for four months while appealing the state in an attempt to regain a liquor license.
Ofshtein and Gutgarts are slated to appear before the SLA subcommittee of Community Board 3 on Monday night.