The Fat Baby Space on Rivington Street is Again Epicenter of New Community Battle

Posted on: September 11th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

When it comes to nightlife, few areas attract the controversial quite like the tiny block of Rivington Street, between Ludlow and Essex, in Hell Square. And so it goes that the problem child formerly known as Fat Baby is back in the center of a new battle with the community.

The battlefield was set Monday night at the SLA subcommittee of Community Board 3, where the applicant for 112 Rivington Street, Erinson Salce of Sahara East, aimed to secure a liquor license for a new Latin concept. The (not so) Suave Bar & Restaurant raised all the red flags.

The meeting was a shitshow that devolved into a screaming match. Salce claimed he is from the neighborhood and the establishment would be local; cautious neighbors feared a potential bait-and-switch in the making to a “hookah club.” There were stark similarities to another lightning rod applicant from 2012 at 106 Rivington just down the block. Namely, the evocation of the race card as reason for the opposition.

Committee chair Alex Militano Shot down that argument, though, blaming a lack of history of the space and incomplete responses to questions as reasons for the resistance.

The Lower East Side Dwellers came prepared with the surprise revelation that Salce listed the wrong landlord in the 30-Day Notice to SLA, putting Shazad Khan, even though Jiu Zhang of JPZ Holding LLC owns the commercial space at 112 Rivington. The group’s research found that Shazad Khan is potentially a realtor who also reps the apartment directly above (which is for rent). This unit is also reportedly under the possession of Jui Zhang.

“The community opposition to this application was a campaign against the continuation of living miserably as a result of living among the highest concentration of late night liquor licenses in the State of New York,” Dwellers head Diem Boyd told us. “To decry local opposition as racist for not wanting another late night business with liquor, DJs, live music and outside corralling is self-serving and not based in reality.”

This ammunition, coupled with the principal’s nine-year stint at Sahara East in the East Village, bolstered the opposition. That and the myriad signatures from the Hell Square environs against the proposed establishment, including 14 businesses.

(The address listed for the landlord (Khan) is 7703 New Utrecht Ave in Brooklyn New York which links PM Grocery Corp at a tobacco retailer.)

In the end, while a majority of the committee was constructing the motion to deny, one board member instead told the applicant to withdraw and return at a later date. Which they did, undermining the process.

This fight is only the beginning.

Recent Stories

CBGB Shut Down 15 Years Ago on the Bowery

Fifteen years ago. This was the night – arguably – that the last breath of punk exhaled on the Bowery. When CBGB concluded its residence at 315 Bowery. And the block could not look any different today. The former venue became, and remains, the upscale John Varvatos boutique; while its old CB’s Gallery space is […]

MOSCOT Launches New Chromeo Collaboration with in-Store Performance

MOSCOT recently launched a new collaboration with popular electro-funk duo Chromeo. To celebrate, the eyewear company is hosting a live performance of the group at its Orchard Street flagship tonight. According to the press release, the new “luxurious capsule collection” features two limited edition frame styles co-designed by David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” […]

Charlie Bird Vet Eyes Division Street for ‘Parcelle Wine’ Spinoff

A veteran of Charlie Bird is spinning off the popular Hell’s Kitchen wine shop into a dedicated bar on the Lower East Side. Down on Division Street in the orbit of Forgtmenot, Dimes, and Kiki’s. Three-year-old Parcelle Wine, situated inside the Henry Hall apartment building near the Lincoln Tunnel, has plans for 135 Division. Specifically, to […]

New York Rangers Pop-up Honors Hockey Great Rod Gilbert with LES Pop-Up

The New York Rangers are headed to the Lower East Side to honor one of its legendary fallen players, Rod Gilbert. With support from the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Blueshirts are hosting a pop-up tribute to the forward at 2 Rivington Street. “As we drop everything for Hockey Week, we also want to lift […]

Muralist David Flores Tapped for New Bowery Wall Art

The drum roll is up. Next in line at the Bowery Mural Wall is here. Muralist David Flores today joins the long list of artists at the Goldman Properties marketing vehicle. He announced the upcoming job via Instagram, standing in front of a whitewashed canvas, noting that “paint hits the wall, art is born.” Painting is […]