CB1 committee shoots down tavern for Saks space

UPDATE: The CB1 full board also opposed the liquor license, but included a few of stipulations — such as only three private events per month. This is what is called a “no, unless” vote in CB parlance, but I don’t actually see how the enforcement of those stipulations works on a practical level…

The CB1 Licensing & Permits Committee rejected a proposal for a second-floor “elegant tavern” that Saks Fifth Avenue is trying to create in the former men’s store at Brookfield. Over a Zoom meeting, members of the committee were concerned that the occupancy of 255 would create traffic when the space is rented out for the occasional private party (the applicant agreed that there would only be three a month.) Otherwise the place is intended to serve the tenants of the building and the general public for “quiet conversation in an elegant and tranquil setting, a very sophisticated operation,” the rep for Saks said.

When about half of the committee members decided to abstain, the motion to approve failed.

Saks decided to close the men’s store in January; the bigger women’s store at Brookfield closed in January 2019 and is now the events space Convene. Earlier this year Saks was talking about using the men’s store as a kind of upscale WeWork; now the concept sounds more like a very spacious place for work meetings, with cocktails. The square footage is 11,000 with a capacity of 255 and no full kitchen — no real ovens, no fryers — which sounds very roomy to me. (The address is 250 Vesey, above Seamore’s, while the women’s store was at 225 Liberty.)

Hours for the application (which can still be approved by the State Liquor Authority) are Monday through Friday 7a to 9p; Saturday and Sunday 10a to 10p, with the possible extension of hours to 1a for private events.

The proposal will come before the full board on May 26.



  1. The cb1 needs to be shut down.
    These people shouldn’t determine economic opportunities in this day and age. The people are generally a bunch of angry do nothing trolls who like to meddle in other peoples business. We should quarantine them for good.

  2. Relax. At times they may overreach, but CB 1 serves a real need for community involvement. You want the Mayor of their minions to decide your future?

  3. Is it really necessary to have yet another space to meet? The mall itself has offices and conference rooms, a very cozy Starbucks, and several restaurants that are also nice to have a business meeting at. Not to mention mall-seating. Saks failed at this space because it seemed there was no real vision. Are they in the bar/restaurant business now? Hudson Bay is desperate to get a dollar any way they can, yet so many of their plans are ill-fated. Just give it up.