CB1 Tribeca Committee: The Unofficial Minutes (June 2016)

In hindsight, given the Ichi- half of the name and the big news about all the changes in Bouleyland, this should’ve been obvious: The Ichidan restaurant at 69 Leonard will be helmed by chef Eiji Ichimura (above right), currently of Ichimura at Brushstroke. As you know, the new restaurant will serve just 10 people at a time, in two seatings, the later of which is 9:30 p.m. But they don’t want to have to kick folks out, so they were hoping to close at 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The committee prefers midnight and 1 a.m. on side streets, and personally, I think the lawyer could’ve made a clearer case for Ichimura’s history in the neighborhood. (I would bet that not every committee member knows who he is.) If an exception was ever going to be made, a high-end sushi restaurant with 10 seats, a chef with a proven record, and a 20-course omakase tasting menu would be it. A nearby resident came to talk about how the owner of 69 Leonard is not a good neighbor, which only served to remind everyone that Ichidan will be a vast improvement over the hip-hop “gallery” Gallery 69. Eventually, everyone agreed to a compromise of 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m., and the proprietors can come back after 6-12 months of operation to ask for more. P.S. Presumably the name Ichidan is a portmanteau of Ichimura and proprietor Idan Elkon (above left). UPDATE: A rep for the restaurant says the name will be Ichimura.

Sweet little hole-in-the-wall Sole di Capri thought it might get away with eight sidewalk tables (16 seats) on a crazy block of Church. (The worst part is actually where the subway stairs nearly abut the bus shelter, but still.) The plan called for two rows of four tables; the committee was adamant about it being one row of four tables, and much time was spent arguing over what the Department of Consumer Affairs guidelines actually are. The persistent architect finally agreed to four tables, and the restaurant can come back next year and try for more. Vote: 8-0, or maybe 7-0.

Miraculously, the Bouley news didn’t confuse the committee members from the matter at hand, which was that the Bouley Botanical event space wants a premises catering license instead of having to apply for temporary ones for every event. (That’s David Bouley at right, rocking stripes on stripes like two zebras in love.) The closing hours are 11 p.m. and midnight. Vote: 8-0, or maybe 7-0.

Maryam Abdul-Aleem, community liaison and scheduler from the office of assemblymember Deborah Glick, came to talk about 118-120 Duane, but I left before it started. I forgot my coat, however, so I had to go back up and in, and during my second exit I ran into four gentlemen
talking in the hall. They had been at the meeting, wisely doing due diligence for a restaurant/bar they’re planning to open in Tribeca. That’s all I really learned, other than that they seem to want later hours than the committee tends to allow. Stay tuned for next month’s agenda….