New restaurant for former Bouley space backs out

Residents of 161 Duane – which has the former Bouley space on its ground floor – successfully scared off the applicants for a restaurant called Tiger Tiger, which would have brought a 128-seat Southeast Asian hot spot (or so the owners hoped) to the neighborhood.

Telling CB1’s licensing committee that the project was too big, too loud and too trendy for the neighborhood, and worried that patrons would smoke and yell on the street outside and in Duane Park, residents brought their lawyer to pick apart the applicant’s proposal. They were mainly opposed to the bar area, which at 670 square feet, had 32 seats (the space itself is 2280 square feet). They also thought the price-point was too low (at $80-100 per head) and at one juncture seemed to request that the owners charge $500 a head instead, so they could have fewer seats. (Bouley, for instance, had 75 seats.)

For a minute it seemed that the applicant might actually accept this idea, but I think he was just joking (I think??).

The Tiger Tiger folks operate Chinese Tuxedo on Doyers Street (pictured below), in a former 1800s opera house, as well as a cocktail bar called Peachy’s at the same location, which reportedly attracts a Kardashian-type crowd. This was *not* cool with folks here. “We have all these people coming into our neighborhood for another bar – loud people,” said one woman. “What message are we sending our children?” Board member Megan McHugh might have had the last word when she said, “This concept is too large for this space and this neighborhood,” and that seemed to seal the deal. The lawyer for the applicant then said they were done.

The owner of the space just bought the property in September with the understanding that it could be and would be a restaurant. I have to assume he was feeling some serious buyer’s remorse.

 

3 Comments

  1. Real estate brokers are often shortsighted and fail to warn their prospective tenant clients that buying or renting a retail condo (as opposed to renting in a single-owner rental building) in Tribeca for use as a bar or restaurant is often a fool’s errand.

    Co-op and condo residents usually want a quiet, dry use in the building, and one cannot really blame then. However, they will often hold up the execution of leases, liquor license applications, and sidewalk cafe applications, and restaurateurs should be aware.

    For example:
    http://www.tribecatrib.com/content/plans-dropped-north-moore-eatery

  2. Real estate brokers are licensed to negotiate a meeting of the minds in a real estate deal. The job of informing clients on the ins and outs of legalities with boards and zoning is the job of their attorney.

    • “I want to rent a space where the neighbors will be implacably opposed to a commercial kitchen, liquor license, and sidewalk cafe,” said no prospective restaurant tenant ever.

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