CB1 Tribeca Committee: The Unofficial Minutes (June 2014)

Postponed at the applicant’s request. See renderings here.

Representatives from the Hudson River Park Trust were on hand to discuss several topics:
—Programming: This is the “Summer of Fun,” with lots of activities you can find on the park’s website. Lots of environmental education, too.
Grand Banks: The boat bar coming to Pier 25 is currently in Brooklyn being outfitted. It should arrive at the park next week and open in late June (permits depending).
—Pier 26 restaurant: The Trust has basically chosen someone to operate it, but the details are still being finalized and the announcement won’t happen till next month. (“He has a great operation […] geared to the community.”) It’s not opening till April or May, and that depends on the buildout and permits. A committee member worried that the roof deck would be used as a bar, but the response was that it’s a restaurant and “not a bar in any way.”
—Pier 26 boathouse: Final inspections are underway. They’re doing everything they can to fast-track for a June opening.
—Pier 26 estuarium: First, if you don’t know what an estuarium is, it’s “a river research and education facility.” The Trust has $10 million that can only be used for the estuarium’s construction, but that’s maybe enough for a bare-bones building. Requests for expressions of interest (like an RFP, but less binding) are due by July 18.
—Pier 40: There are 13 miles of piles underneath the pier, and they’re falling apart. (A low-level electric charge is used to keep the steel from rusting, but someone in the pre-Trust era turned it off to save money.) An inspection has been underway, but the report isn’t back yet. What they do know is that the damage is “significantly worse” than during the last inspection five years ago, and a majority of piles are rated “severe.”
—The controversial air-rights swap: The Trust is committed to a process involving the city (unspoken: now that the workaround failed…). I stopped listening because do you honestly think the HRPT was going to break news on this matter at the CB1 Tribeca meeting?
—Someone asked about special events. Besides the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge by New York Outrigger (June 21) and the North River Historic Ship Festival (June 20-24), there are no special events planned for Pier 25 or 26 in July, August, or September, but that could change, as inquiries have been made. UPDATE: I should point out that the Gay Pride dances are happening at Pier 26—but the HRPT doesn’t have a choice.

It’s Sunday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Duane between W. Broadway and Church. Same general idea as in years past. Vote: 7-0 (or maybe 6-0… I don’t know who’s a real member and who’s a public member).

Four tables with ten seats, closing at 10 p.m. Vote: 7-0 (or maybe 6-0).

At last month’s meeting, the applicant’s request to serve liquor on its roof was rejected. The hotel reps were back trying for rooftop liquor only during Sunday brunch (noon to 4 p.m., as I understood it) and for later closing hours (3 a.m. instead of 2 a.m.) in the basement bar. The committee once again conveniently forgot that it had approved rooftop liquor for Café Noir a black away on Lispenard—a side street, no less—and the applicant and his lawyer apparently didn’t read the Unofficial Minutes from last meeting, or they presumably would’ve brought it up. They did clarify where the entrances would be: the one to the street-level café (sounds very Ace Hotels, doesn’t it?) is on Broadway; the one to the hotel lobby is on Walker; only a service entrance is on Cortlandt Alley. Also of note: There will be a slatted-wood structure on the roof to provide shade. The committee unanimously rejected the changes but said the hotel could come back after a year of operation to try again, because that’s its rule and it values consistency. P.S. Still no word on the hotel brand but the applicant said again the property will be “four-star.” In my experience, a truly upscale hotel would claim to warrant at least six stars these days.

Beer only and closing at 9 p.m. Vote: 7-0 (or maybe 6-0).

No one showed up, so the committee didn’t know what the alteration was about, so they voted unanimously to reject it. I’d imagine that the application was to allow liquor at the 14-seat café approved last month…? Anyway, there seemed to be a chance that the full CB1 might approve it if the details could get ironed out.

Telepan Local is looking to add an eight-table 16-seat café, with tables on the platform and on the sidewalk. Normally, as hinted directly above, a restaurant gets its sidewalk café approved by CB1 before coming back with an application to amend the liquor license to allow liquor there. Telepan Local’s State Liquor Authority application showed up before the Department of Consumer Affairs one, however, so they figured they’d come seek an approval even if it was out of order. Heads exploded. There was much debate about hours (Telepan wanted 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday) and whether the door should remain shut the entire time, part of the time, or whatever. It was pointed out that Bill Telepan was “not Sazón,” but that didn’t seem to get him much credit, and the meeting continued sputtering in circles. Finally, someone asked one member who lives very close by what he thought of the matter. “Why are we making this so hard?” he responded forcefully (or words to that effect). “Can’t we just let people do business? We’re being so picky! It’s driving me crazy!” Vote to allow liquor: 6-0. But Telepan Local has to come back to present the café. P.S. Am I hallucinating, or have there not been seats outside in recent weeks…?


  1. “P.S. Am I hallucinating, or have there not been seats outside in recent weeks…?”

    So has Sweetgreen and The Greek. It’s a Greenwich St thing.

    • Pretty sure the Greek got burned for having outdoor seating with no permit. Now that you mention it, I don’t recall Sweetgreen’s sidewalk seating being discussed by CB1 (but I could’ve missed it)

  2. and what about salam bombay? they’ve been turned down by community board before, and never saw new application.