CB1 Tribeca Committee: The Unofficial Minutes (January 2016)

Flinders Lane is a modern Australian restaurant in the East Village opening a second location in Tribeca. Owners Chris McPherson and chef Chris Rendell (pictured above, standing; is Rendell shooting the bird at me?) were asking for the same closing hours that the Butterfly had (midnight Sunday through Thursday, 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday), so the committee had no objections. The floor plan is pretty similar to what was submitted in 2012 for the Butterfly—it even says “Butterfly” on it—and the menu is the same one that’s on the Flinders Lane website. Vote: 5-0 to approve, and then later two more members came in and said they had no problem with it, so the tally was changed to 7-0.

Henry Tibensky (above) is opening Hank’s Juicy Beef, serving Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches, in the former Quiznos on Chambers between Church and Broadway. It’s a beer/wine license, with closing hours of 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. According to the floor plan (below), there’s more space there than you might have thought. Also, in good news for us vegetarian-ish types, the small sample menu includes eggplant parmigiana. Vote: 5-0 (and then 7-0; see above).

David Steingard of Laughing Man came by for a victory lap: Despite several committee members’ objections to the Street Seats enclosure that went up last summer, it proved a definite hit, and no one said otherwise. Rather than go through this process every year, Steingard was hoping the committee would give a blanket approval for future years, with one change: The Department of Transportation, which oversees Street Seats, wants to move the program’s start date up from May to March (the exact date is at the owner’s discretion, and the end date remains in December). The committee resisted waiving entirely its right to review the enclosure, so eventually language was agreed upon that lets the committee weigh in “as needed.” Vote: 7-0.

The rumor had been that Gunbae, the Korean barbecue restaurant and karaoke bar on Murray, was asking for 4 a.m. closing, but it was actually 2 a.m., Thursday through Sunday. (It currently can stay open till midnight seven days a week.) Still, neighbors were adamantly opposed. First, residents in 67 Murray and 69 Murray can smell cooking fumes through their back windows. One said it smells like cooking cabbage and deduced it must be kimchi; the owner called her racist because Gunbae doesn’t make kimchi. The fume discussion went on for quite a while, ending with the committee instructing the restaurant and residents to meet with the building owner to figure out why the venting system isn’t working correctly. Second, drunk patrons are gathering outside to smoke, piss, and puke, and they sometimes block the sidewalk. The restaurant representatives said they had no idea locals were unhappy, which residents disagreed with, and the lawyer attempted the old you-can’t-prove-they-were-our-patrons defense, at which everyone scoffed. Ultimately, the committee said that this is Gunbae’s problem to fix, and that the restaurant and the neighbors should work together; once everyone is satisfied, Gunbae can come back and try again—but the committee is generally loathe to allow closing later than 1 a.m. on a side street.

The construction company building the 64-story condo tower at Murray and West would like to start work at 8 a.m. on Saturdays instead of 9 a.m., as allowed by the Department of Buildings. The manager claimed the project would end sooner as a result, but the committee wasn’t buying it. Vote: 0-6-1.

Liquor-license renewals don’t get discussed unless someone has an issue with one of the establishments. Raccoon Lodge’s renewal is for its current space, and therefore not of concern; its potential move to 20 Warren, however, brought out a few neighbors who want the committee to understand that they have very much liked the peace and quiet since 20 Twenty left, and they’re extremely worried about what the Raccoon Lodge might bring. Then the committee noted that Sazón‘s renewal was on the agenda, but unlike in past years, no residents were came to complain. “They’ve given up,” said one committee member. Another member muttered something about how Sazón had sued the community board; that was the first I’ve heard of the matter.



  1. Why is he flipping you the bird?

  2. Yes, it is true that the residents of Reade Street have ‘given up’ on Sazon. During the winter the crowds outside are less but in the summer they are noisy and persistent. There have been the odd altercation which involved the police but mostly it is just high-spirited noise. But, the real reason is that the CB themselves have more or less said “…unless there is a serious crime or something really dramatic, the licence will be renewed”. Anyway, having attended a meeting of the SLA and the CB people some time ago it was evident that the SLA play mostly lip-service to the recommendations of the CB because both CB and SLA are worried about being sued. It is true that some time ago, Sazon did launch a suit against CB1 but it fizzled out. Basically residents have little influence in the liquor licence process. As you know Erik, sitting through endless committee meetings until the public gets their short opportunity to say something when their agenda item comes up is unrewarding.

  3. I bet a similar Streat Seat layout outside the Shinola store would work as well.