BEER/WINE LICENSE FOR THE TRIBECA BLU HOTEL AT 276 CANAL
The hotel would like to serve beer and wine to guests at a small lobby bar, with a closing time of 1 a.m. (Sunday-Thursday) and 2 a.m. (Friday-Saturday). Vote: 8-0.
HUDSON RIVER PARK ACT
The chair made a plea for members to support the move to open the Hudson River Park Act to allow the discussion of development (especially on Pier 40) and to allow the park to float bonds, the way other municipal entities can. A member said that he felt that the involved parties could be more clear about what they’re asking for, and the two valiantly battled for the last word, complimenting each other the whole way as if the meeting were being televised.
LIQUOR LICENSE FOR TETSU, NEW RESTAURANT AT 78 LEONARD
Chef Masa Takayama was in the house—that’s him at right in the photo at the top of this post—to discuss his plans for 78 Leonard (the space next to Eastern Athletic gym), first reported here. The concept is less Benihana than it first appeared, although the emphasis is definitely on grilling. The 124-seat restaurant will be on three levels. To quote from the application: “The Ground Floor [3,200 square feet] will feature an à la carte menu of robatayaki (grilled items on skewers).” That brings to mind being served grilled chicken skin on skewers in Kyoto [shivers]. “Diners on the Ground Floor may sit at traditional tables or at one of two ‘grill bars’ where the different menu items will be displayed, prepared, and served to guests. The Mezzanine [2,800 square feet] will feature a relaxed lounge and bar. The Cellar level of Tetsu will provide a prix fixe omakase (chef’s choice) menu featuring robatayaki, sushi, sashimi, and shabu-shabu.” (The concept blurb also mentions kaiseki, but maybe it just got carried away?) Tetsu will serve dinner only, at least at the start, with an opening tentatively scheduled for Thanksgiving. Everybody was excited about a chef of Masa’s stature opening a restaurant here, but there were concerns about it being on a side street. (The committee chair lives across the street.) They wanted to stay open till 2 a.m., but the committee held firm to its normal hours of midnight and 1 a.m., with the understanding that the applicant can come back and request later hours. The bigger wrinkle came when a resident of the building mentioned that the sponsor of the building has not been very helpful about dealing with issues, particularly the problem of the building’s heating system being located directly below the lowest residential level (the second floor, from what I gathered), causing the temperature in that unit to be horridly high. This was the first the Tetsuvians had heard of the matter, and since they had planned on using the building’s heating system, they were encouraged to work it out before they started construction or they may end up having to undo it later. (The resident said that it wasn’t impossible that they’d be “potentially suing.”) Two issues that were also brought up were the possibility of black cars jamming up the street (see Megu)—Takayama did say that they’d have a security guard to monitor that issue and smoking patrons—and ventilation. The architects said that they’d be ventilating to the roof, not the rear shaft, but with as much grilling as Tetsu will be doing, anyone who has a roof deck in the area will want to be on high alert.
Click the images at right to see the menu, floor plans (ground floor, mezzanine, and cellar, respectively), and a rendering.
BEER/WINE LICENSE FOR THE NEW RESTAURANT AT 73 WARREN
Genevieve Lynch and Michelle Gauthier, the two locals behind the new prepared-food restaurant at 73 Warren—there’s no name yet, but the LLC is Yummy Meep—would like a beer/wine license, and they plan on being open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The only problems were that (a) they would occasionally like to have events (cookbook signings, chef demos, etc.) that might keep them open till midnight, and (b) the upstairs neighbors were convinced that the place might turn into a brewpub. (I have no sympathy for people who say they hadn’t heard about the meeting till a few days before: READ THIS SITE.) Since midnight is well within the committee’s established parameters, this was obviously going to pass, but much time was spent on it anyway. The neighbor is actually annoyed with Warren 77, and he said people who live on the street have had to deal with strollers rolling over condoms (that’s a new one!) and vomit in their windowboxes (another new one!). Vomit in Your Windowbox would’ve made a good name for a punk record…. What readers may find interesting is the delicious-looking sample menu (above left). Also, the restaurant will be 900 square feet, with 15-20 tables and eight bar seats. Vote: 8-0, or maybe 9-0.
SIDEWALK CAFÉ FOR MAX RESTAURANT AT 181 DUANE
Luigi Iasilli had a lot of goodwill, having had Max on Duane for six years and (I think) living in the area. But even though he only wants three tables (with seven seats total), the committee has taken a hard line as of late, deciding that it does not allow sidewalk seating on side streets. I don’t speak at these meetings—although I do mutter and grumble—but if I did I would’ve asked how come there’s seating at Marc Forgione, Mr. Chow, and City Hall? And if the answer is that they all have loading docks—and therefore don’t have to request permission—then what about Blaue Gans and Benvenuto? Actually Benvenuto’s may be gone—I haven’t checked lately. Someone sitting near me thought that maybe the Department of Consumer Affairs can override CB1 objections if there’s no legal reason not to allow sidewalk seating. In any event, the committee apologized to Iasilli and voted 7-0-1 to oppose the request.
LIQUOR LICENSE TRANSFER FOR SUSHEIN AT 325 BROADWAY
The sushi restaurant at Broadway and Worth needed a last-minute license transfer of some kind, and its lawyer screwed up, so a rep was there to plead forgiveness. The committee gave in, reasoning that no one lives on that block.
PROPOSED NEWSSTAND AT THE SOUTHEAST CORNER OF CHAMBERS AND GREENWICH
The folks who want to open the newsstand undoubtedly look at the foot traffic on Chambers—workers, parents, students—and see a lucrative stream of revenue. The residents in 295 Greenwich, however, see a newsstand as one more hindrance on an already congested block (even when the construction moves east). The neighbors put up a smart fight, posting petitions and encouraging emails to CB1, which looked at the “couple hundred” objections and saw no way to approve the request. Vote: 6-0.
FRESH DIRECT COMPLAINTS
As the meeting was winding down, a CB1 administrator reported that he had contacted Fresh Direct about the recent spate of complaints about its truck hanging out on Worth Street, near Hudson. He was told that the company now has one “storage truck” instead of a dozen “mobile trucks,” and that it would take suggestions if there was a better spot for it. An absent committee member had proposed Walker between Sixth and Church, although that’s not exactly central Tribeca. Any thoughts?