What’s Going into the Dean’s Space

Looks like the Hawaii Cupcake Factory did in fact drop its plans for the former Dean’s space at 349 Greenwich. What’s coming instead—maybe (keep reading)—is an “American bar and grill” from Alex “Not That One” Rodriguez, who is also an owner at the American bar and grill known as/located at 121 Fulton Street. “We need a bit more casual but upscale atmosphere,” says Rodriguez, who lives in the neighborhood. “Not another lower-scale bar like Tribeca Tap House.”

The menu presented at last night’s meeting of the Community Board 1 Tribeca Committee is the same as at 121 Fulton: five varieties of sliders, six full-size burgers, Buffalo wings, hummus for the ladies, etc.

121 Fulton menuNow, about that “maybe”…. The committee (and possibly the State Liquor Authority) require that applicants post notices about the hearing, but the ones put up by Rodriguez’s lawyer said the hearing was on June 9. That may be a technicality, but on a street with a lot of restaurants and bars—and a lot of children upstairs—the committee was concerned that residents who might object wouldn’t have known to show up on July 9.

121 Fulton Street

One resident of 349 Greenwich did make it to the meeting. She said that folks in the building had spoken with Rodriguez, but only after their meeting—when Rodriguez said there would be nine flat-screen TVs—did it occur to them that the vibe could be more of a sports bar. The resident mentioned concerns of “loudness, throwing up, and endangering kids.” Rodriguez said it would be like 121 Fulton, where the TVs are recessed and converted to mirrors when not in use, but he lost a bit of credibility with the committee when he also said that “almost every restaurant in the city has four to six TVs.” (Maybe in FiDi….)

The committee members spent a long time wondering what to do. Should they make Rodriguez repost the notice and come back to the committee’s next meeting, in September? Should they see if he can quickly organize a satisfactory meeting with nearby residents and gather info on soundproofing to present to the committee so they can do a quick caucus before the full CB1 meeting at the end of this month? Rodriguez said he has yet to sign a lease and without the liquor license moving forward he wasn’t sure he would, because he wanted to open by mid-October (so as to benefit from the holiday season), which caused committee members to wonder whether they were unduly hurting a small business, which led to another round of wondering what to do. Eventually, finally, they decided to make Rodriguez come back in September and promise not to do a runaround by going directly to the State Liquor Authority.