More on the Ivy’s Replacement

Last night’s meeting of the Community Board 1 Tribeca Committee was approaching the three-hour mark when I finally snapped and left. So (a) you’re not getting the Unofficial Minutes till tomorrow, because I’m not ready to relive it yet, and (b) I didn’t make it to the vote on the liquor license for the restaurant that Akiva Elstein (at left in the pic) and Matt Abramcyk are opening in the former Ivy’s space at 385 Greenwich. But I’d be shocked if it was voted down.

Elstein and Abramcyk, who both live in Tribeca, are planning a 44-seat establishment, including the 12 at the bar. As you can see from the floor plan, the bar is being moved to the north side of the room. Also, “Belzer” is a working name, so don’t expect it to stick.

385 Greenwich Belzer floor planAnd here’s the sample menu:

385 Greenwich Belzer sample menuThe application had incorrect information in several places, which did not help move things along. Still, the committee recalled that Abramcyk was good about dealing with noise at Warren 77, once complaints reached fever pitch, so it was likely to approve it. But then a resident of 62 Beach—which wraps around Ivy’s and its next-door sister, Smith & Mills—said that noise from Smith & Mills had been a consistent problem for years (and S&M has 4 a.m. closing hours). In the last few weeks, the restaurant got a new sound system, which apparently “cured” the problem, but that left 62 Beach residents feeling like Elstein and Abramcyk only “resolved it when they knew they needed to come before CB1 to ask for something.” Abramcyk said he felt so terrible about not reacting to the Smith & Mills noise complaints sooner that from now on they’d close those big doors at 11 p.m. instead of midnight.

Alas, the damage was done. The committee started wondering if the requested closing hours of 1 a.m. (Sunday through Thursday) and 2 a.m. (Friday and Saturday) were a good idea, even though they were within the committee’s guidelines* for a restaurant on an avenue.

Moreover, one of the errors on the application was that it said they weren’t applying for a sidewalk café, but Abramcyk and Elstein said that of course they would be. (Their lawyer claimed he took the question to be whether they were applying for it right now, but the committee wasn’t having it.) In fact, Abramcyk and Elstein didn’t think the restaurant was economically viable without that extra seating. The acting committee chair said they obviously weren’t going to be considering tables on N. Moore, but you can bet money they are. Smith & Mills has a sidewalk café, after all, which the guys got by going around CB1 altogether. Also, note the service door onto N. Moore in the floor plan.

As a conciliatory gesture, Abramcyk and Elstein said that instead of French doors on the Greenwich Street side, they’d do a window or something like that. The building is landmarked, so exactly how that plays out remains to be seen.

And that’s when I could no longer ignore Johnnie Walker calling my name. The application no doubt got approved; the only question is whether the committee gave them the requested hours or not—and if not, how long they’d have to wait before they could come back and try again.

*Several times during the meeting, there was confusion about whether the committee’s guidelines are for last call or for closing.