CB1 Tribeca Committee: The Unofficial Minutes

cb1-january-by-tribeca-citizenThe unofficial secretary of the CB1 Tribeca committee showed up at 6:25 p.m. only to find that the meeting had evidently started at 6 p.m. (And I had been so pleased with myself for double-checking on the CB1 website that the time hadn’t been changed, as it had been last month, when it was moved back a half hour. The moral: I need to call the afternoon of the meeting.) I admit that I was somewhat pleased to have missed some of the meeting, but I was annoyed that the part I had missed—details on the water main work set for Chambers Street—was the part I had specifically wanted to hear more about. (I also missed the debate and vote on an application for a beer license for Alif Deli & Salad Bar at 200 Church, but I’m going to assume that passed because otherwise they still would have been discussing it when I walked in.) In any event, there was still a lot to report on….

As I entered, a man was getting his liquor license approved for 281 Church—that’s the Arqua space. The new owner is from Florence; he said the food would be more fusion than Italian. Looking into this….

The old owner of Eamonn’s has retired and sold the bar/restaurant to the manager, who was applying for a liquor license. Because its neighbor, Biddy Early’s, was recently the subject of much debate, this one did not go smoothly. The committee members voted to recommend that the State Liquor Authority approve the application on the condition that the bar closes at 2 a.m. on weeknights. When the owner asked what about the other bars on the block that get to stay open till 4 a.m., one board member said, “As they roll in we will bring them down.” And who says nightlife is dead in Manhattan?

Cosmopolitan Café is taking over the former Soda Shop space at 125 Chambers and wants to transfer its wine/beer license (it has little choice, given the Cosmopolitan Hotel’s expansion). Approved near instantaneously.

Three guys from Santos Party House came to make their case for altering the liquor license—the address on the old one, from what I can tell, says 100 Lafayette, when the club entrance is really at 96 Lafayette, and some patrons get confused. Not that that was ever discussed: Instead, the committee got miffed that the forms weren’t filled out, and sent the guys out into the hall. Many committee members seemed irked that the SLA had approved the club’s liquor license over its objections in 2008, but seeing as how the community seems to have no problem with the club, all they could do was insist that Santos put more soundproofing between it and the mission next door (even though the mission had come to the meeting in support of the alteration to the license).

Anyone who has walked by Mocca lately can tell that something has changed—sure enough, a new investor has come on board. The liquor license is up for reneewal, and normally the committee doesn’t even engage with renewals, but a neighbor (Luke, lives upstairs) has been complaining to 311, the police, and CB1 about the noise. The problem is that Mocca’s liquor license only allows it to play background music and to stay open until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends, and Mocca has recently been open till 4 a.m. and has DJs spinning. Needless to say, the committee was outraged at the license being flouted. The owner tried everything, including saying, “I’m not going to lie to you” about ten times (maybe next time he should lie) and “I’ll be out of business if I have to close at 1 a.m.” The committee passed a resolution voting to recommend rejecting the renewal, and then decided to vote to rescind that vote, and instead draft a resolution saying that if Mocca will agree to the initial liquor-license constraints, the committee will support the renewal. The owner still moaned that he’d lose his $400K investment; more than one committee member pointed out that he perhaps should’ve done better due diligence before investing that kind of money (or maybe that was me thinking it).

The committee voted to approve Edward’s sidewalk seating (which must come before the committee every year)—even the one member who has been a thorn in Edward’s side for years about the bench. He has gone so far as to call former city councilperson Alan Gershon’s office to get them to lean on Edward’s!

The owner of 145 Reade—which is being turned into a private residence, even the ground floor—wants to add a staircase/stoop and the committee seemed to have no problem with it, so I left. A guy’s gotta eat!

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