PRESENTATION ABOUT THE 9/11 MEMORIAL FAMILY DAY RUN
OFF-AGENDA TOPIC: LITTLE LEAGUE BALL FIELDS
The chair declared a “crisis in the neighborhood for anyone with children who play baseball” (and by extension their parents): Namely, that the Battery Park City Authority doesn’t appear to be any hurry to get the ball fields fixed after Sandy ruined them, and moreover, it isn’t being forthcoming with explanations. This is “very, very damaging for kids in the neighborhood,” the chair continued, urging everyone to complain. A member said there’s hope that the community board will soon get more information from the BPCA.
LIQUOR-LICENSE APPLICATION: SPRING STUDIOS (50 VARICK)
Postponed because Spring Studios is still trying to gather information about what kind of events—and how many—it expects to host. It didn’t appear that anyone came for this topic.
LIQUOR-LICENSE APPLICATION: WASHINGTON MARKET TAVERN (41 MURRAY)
As reported here, the owner of Mudville 9, Eric Schwimmer (see below), is opening a bar and restaurant at 41 Murray, where Eamonn’s is. (He liked the space so much that he bought it; he’s closing in 10 days. And in very good news, he’s going to redo the storefront’s façade. Click on that photo below for a look at the plan.) With a name like Washington Market Tavern, it doesn’t sound like a wine bar, though. The name is no doubt because Schwimmer’s grandparents owned a store in Washington Market, as well as a store where the Citibank is about to open. He lives in the neighborhood and has owned Mudville 9 for 10 years. WMT will seat 116 at tables, with 32 seats at two bars, one on the ground floor and one downstairs. Schwimmer says he has an “amazing chef” coming onboard, but he can’t say who it is yet. If I understood correctly, the hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. That appears to be a departure from the norm for side streets, but as you’ll soon see, the committee wasn’t too worked up about consistency this time. Vote: 7-0-1.
LIQUOR-LICENSE APPLICATION: DISTILLED NY (211 W. BROADWAY)
“Our goal is to get three stars,” said chef Shane Lyons (at left below), and although he didn’t say from whom, he did add that it would be a place where the community can come and not spend the kind of money you’d spend at Corton or Bouley. (There was no sample menu, alas.) The 24-year-old chef, who you might know from “The Next Food Network Star,” the Nickelodeon show “All That,” or “That Raven Show,” is a partner in the endeavor, along with Nick Iovacchini (also below), Chris Eddy (Barmarché), and Drew Nieporent (whose Centrico was the space’s former inhabitant). They need a modification of the existing license, because they’re moving the bar from the north side of the room to the south, to better show off the kitchen. But the upstairs neighbors have not at all enjoyed the two parties that were thrown there before—or maybe after—the Top Chef pop-up, and there’s evidently no soundproofing. And with a name like Distilled NY, you can see why the restaurant might strike them as being more about drinking. (The application lists 60 seats in the dining area and 48 in the bar area, although the floor plan doesn’t quite jibe with that.) The residents see this as a chance to remedy a long-running unpleasant situation. There was a lot of back-and-forth about the matter. Ultimately the board voted to add stipulations for no DJs, no live music after 10 p.m., and the addition of soundproofing (which is happening anyway). Vote 6-1.
LIQUOR-LICENSE APPLICATION: TELEPAN LOCAL
“Telepan is an excellent food-driven restaurant and you should go,” said the chair by way of introducing chef Bill Telepan (at left below, with his pal Mr. Stinkeye), whose plans for Telepan Local include 80 seats (plus 10 at the bar) on the ground floor and the lower level, and it’ll be open till midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The preliminary menu is organized into small, medium, and large plates, and it’s less ambitious and less expensive than the Telepan mothership uptown: The most expensive large plate is steak frites for $24. Interestingly, the restaurant plans to offer delivery. One member asked they keep the back door closed because he can hear noise when it’s open. Vote: 7-0.
LIQUOR-LICENSE APPLICATION: 175 FRANKLIN
A British gent named Peter Harris (at left below, with lawyer) plans to open a chocolate shop, café, and restaurant called Boucan by Hotel Chocolat at 175 Franklin, two doors west of Tamarind. The brands already include a resort in St. Lucia and many stores in Europe, and the company has helped rejuvenate a chocolate plantation on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. (He only brought one small box of chocolates, and they were reindeer-shaped.) The restaurant will have 102 seats, and the menu, as you can see, includes a lot of chocolate in various forms. The problem is, everyone who lives near that building—or at least in the four buildings on the air shaft behind it—seems to despise its owner, in no small part because he let raves (!) be held there, and worse, there was no restroom so people were relieving themselves all over Franklin Street. The lone resident of 175 Franklin said that under no circumstances should the restaurant use the same construction firm the landlord uses, and he said he wasn’t planning to, but the whole building has to get a certificate of occupancy—per the lease—so in theory, things will have to be up to snuff from the top of the building to the bottom. The restaurant agreed to closing at midnight/1 a.m. if it can come back in a year to plead its case for later hours, and it agreed to replace the skylight in the back with double-paned glass and to not have live music or DJs. The board, meanwhile, seemed to get behind the idea that “the worst buildings are the empty buildings.” Vote: 3-0-3 (abstentions)-1 (recusal), but since that meant it failed, there was a revote, and it became 4-0-2-1.
LIQUOR-LICENSE APPLICATION: LOS AMERICANOS (305 CHURCH)
“Oh, the Burrito Bar!” said at least one member, even though that was years and years and years ago. The space is actually only part of the old Burrito Bar; people with shorter-term memories may know it as Pane Panelle, Stuzzicheria, or Province. The 35-seat restaurant will be pan-Latin (and not solely Mexican), and it will be “fashioned after a luncheonette” with “a lot of Formica,” wood blinds, and a counter that’s also a bar. (I’m envisioning Café Habana crossed with Super Linda.) The four partners are Billy Gilroy and Patrick Fahey (both of whom are involved at Macao Trading Co., and they’re pictured below), and Emmanuelle LaSalle (fab bio—see below) and Tommy Hill (Galaxy Global Eatery, the dive bar 119). The restaurant plans on closing at 4:30 a.m. seven days a week, with bar service ending at 4 a.m.; the rationale was that it needs 4 a.m. to survive and attract restaurant workers. (If I had a nickel for every restaurant that plans to become a hangout for restaurant workers….), and because the area isn’t all that residential. One member believes that 4 a.m. is just too late, while another said she feels safer when, as she walks the streets alone at night, a few businesses are open. In a creative twist of logic, the committee—swayed, I think, by one partner’s tale of being a longtime Tribecan—used its inconsistency with nearby Tribeca Canvas (4 a.m. closing) to justify its inconsistency here. Los Americanos will be open till 4 a.m. Also: It’ll serve breakfast. Vote: 4-3.
LIQUOR-LICENSE APPLICATION: 361 GREENWICH
The Flor de Sol ladies are hanging up their sombreros, handing over the restaurant to general manager Frank Castro (whose father is the chef at Flor de Sol). The place won’t change much—closing for a bit for kitchen renovations—and while there was a sample menu, I didn’t seem to bring it home. (I did see that it’s Spanish.) The new name is TBD. The weekend closing hours will actually be earlier (3 a.m.) than currently allowed, and if they have live music, they’ve agreed to close the doors. Vote: 7-0.
SIDEWALK CAFÉ RENEWAL: ESTANCIA 460
No changes. Vote: 7-0.