CB1 Tribeca Committee: The Unofficial Minutes (December 2016)

Luis Sanchez, the Manhattan Borough Commissioner for the NYC Department of Transportation, kicked things off with a presentation about how a lot of cars and trucks use the Holland Tunnel, especially at rush hour. And then board members and residents spoke of the aspects that particularly bother them—trucks on Laight Street, honking on Hudson, speeding on Watts, and so on. None of them are wrong, of course, but the discussion has to be about some way to make the Holland Tunnel less popular (or another route more popular), such as increasing tolls on the Verrazano–Narrows bridge. Sanchez said that the DOT has done what it can with signage and timing of traffic lights, and that the neighborhood should press the NYPD to enforce the laws so frequently flouted around the tunnel. A CB1 official suggested attending the 1st Precinct Community Council meeting, at which you will be listened to and subsequently forgotten. The only way to get the NYPD to act is to get the politicians to lean on them, and the best way to get the politicians to do anything is to host a public meeting where they can press the DOT and NYPD and Port Authority to figure something out. A board member suggested just such a town hall; let’s hope it happens, because this problem is not likely to get better anytime soon.

Discussed here. (And if you missed that post, you really should press pause on reading this and go check it out.)

From what I can tell, the Cosmopolitan Hotel had asked for (and received) approval for a 4 a.m. liquor license for room service at a previous Tribeca Committee meeting, but the committee had denied its request to allow its new lobby bar to serve that late. The hotel came back for another try, this time saying only one of the two 500-square-foot rooms that make up the bar—which is deep inside the property—would serve till 4 a.m. (and the other would close at 2 a.m.). The committee voted 6-1 to oppose the 4 a.m. license; my notes are unclear (if it was even said) whether the hotel will settle for 2 a.m. or try to do an end run around CB1 and get 4 a.m. from the State Liquor Authority. Below is the floor plan for the ground floor. The bar is in the upper right.

The application for the 313 Church outpost of Soho’s Antique Garage met CB1’s guidelines (1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday), so there was little for the committee to chew on. Instead of a lounge, the basement will be home to the kitchen and storage, and the restaurant won’t use the residential entrance for anything (something that got the previous tenant in trouble). There will be the occasional playing of a small piano. The restaurant will be open from 7 a.m., and the menu submitted is the same as at the Soho location. Here’s the floor plan (Church Street is on the right):

The application for Matt Abramcyk’s restaurant/bar in the former Super Linda space—which he hopes to have open by summer—says there will be 152 total seats over the two floors, with 139 at tables, including in the atrium, and 13 bar stools. (The north side of the atrium sure looks like it could be for bar patrons…. Who else would use standing tables?) “Two different menus upstairs and down,” Abramcyk texted me last week. “Upstairs lighter [and] fish-centric. Downstairs great cocktails and smoked meats.” Abramcyk would like to stay open till 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. With Super Linda, he and his co-owners were told that they could come back in a year and try for later hours, so he figured Super Linda’s year of existence could and should be applied to the new establishment. The committee wasn’t really having it, but they did concede that Abramcyk’s track record might earn him a bit of accommodation. I always got the impression that nearby residents were frustrated by Super Linda patrons, but the new place received little negative pushback from local residents, with the exception of a letter reminding the committee that Sazón remains the bane of their existence and Serafina promises to make the area even busier. In a perfect world, the 109 W. Broadway entrance could be moved to W. Broadway, but the atrium doesn’t really allow for it. Eventually—and I’m really pressing fast-forward here—the committee decided to allow 1:30 a.m. on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends; I’m not sure where Thursday falls, because Abramcyk’s application considered it a weekend, but CB1 usually considers it a weeknight. The windows on W. Broadway will have to be closed after a certain hour. I lost track of exactly when, but I think the guidelines allow for 9 p.m. weeknights and 10 p.m. weekends.

The poke restaurant coming to 35 Lispenard will be called Humble Fish, and not Relish Poke, as previously indicated. Owner Jonathan Chong said it’ll be quick-service style, with 30 seats at eight tables and a three-seat bar area. The hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., so the committee voted 7-0. The menu:

The Greek‘s Tom Galis told me before the meeting that couldn’t be happier that his new restaurant would be at Truffles Tribeca, in the former Canali Club gym, rather than at the Sterling Mason, because it’s much bigger. And that means room for a retail bakery offering “grab-and-go Greek yogurt, pizzas, breads….” His proposed closing hours (1 a.m. and 2 a.m.) were in line with CB1’s guidelines, and the few neighbors who showed up were positive, concerned only about plans for a sidewalk café, but that’ll get discussed later. The new place will be “more Mediterranean than 100% Greek,” said Galis, with occasional acoustic music. Committee members were hesitant about the “DJ” box being checked on the application, but Galis meant himself playing records he loves, not some dude blasting EDM. No one asked about the “Living room/lounge” in the floor plan, which looks like a big-ass bar to me. Vote: 5-0, with one recusal.

The guys who run the newsstand on Greenwich between Warren and Murray, would like to open another one around the corner on Warren, more or less in front of the Whole Foods/Bed Bath & Beyond entrance. This is obviously a terrible spot for a newsstand, even if the sidewalk shed ever comes down, and besides, can’t people walk 100 yards to buy whatever it is they buy at newsstands? Vote: 5-0 in opposition, but the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs can approve it anyway.



  1. just to clarify, about the newsstand? the vote was unanimously yes or no? 5-0 looked like yes but you mention that the dept can approve it anyway.

    just curious since I walk there everyday and that sidewalk does not feel wide enough for a newsstand as it is.

  2. I still say we need a toll to enter the Holland Tunnel on the nyc side. The elimination of cash collection (on the NJ side for instance) makes this feasible and would likely deter some of the traffic.

    • I think tolling the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges would reduce traffic on canal st and hudson st because the drivers coming from brooklyn and queens would be indifferent to the midtown tunnel to lincoln tunnel vs bridges to holland tunnel route.

    • Many of us who’ve been here for a long time remember that when Sen. Schumer first ran against Al D’Amato he promised to introduce a bill in the Senate to reverse the toll on the Verrazano Bridge, bringing it into line with all other tolls into the city. Once elected, of course, he completely forgot that promise and nothing, for a change, changed.

  3. I somewhat newly live in the building where “Holy Ground” will be. Guess I should have known to attend the meeting!