Neighbors oppose plans for The Palm space

An owner of a Caribbean restaurant from Long Island called Nuvo Kitchen has taken the lease for the former Palm space at 200 Chambers (on West and Warren) and to listen to the CB1 Licensing Committee meeting you’d think it was a remake of “Footloose.” Neighbors are concerned about the ‘dancing’ checked off on the application, saying that it could be “devastating” and “catastrophic” and “not appropriate” for the neighborhood.

(A sidebar before I continue: The paper notices that applicants must post on the venue still say that the meetings take place in person at the board office when in fact the Licensing & Permits Committee is fully remote and has been for three years. This was not fair to some residents of 200 Chambers, who went over to 1 Centre for the meeting only to find the office locked. By the time they got home, they said, they had missed their chance to listen in.)

The plan as owner Marc Celestin, of Eighteen 04 Restaurant Group, described is to keep the layout of The Palm — 25 tables for 200 people with an additional 20 at the bar and 10 seats in the kitchen — for his concept, which is gourmet Caribbean fusion with live music in the form of a three-piece band with no amplification or a DJ. He requested — and was granted — the hours of 6a to 11p Monday to Wednesday, 6a to 1a Thursday to Saturday and 6a to 10p on Sunday. He plans to open for breakfast seven days a week, with a brunch on weekends.

“We want to be the location for the power breakfast on the Westside,” Celestin said. He plans to install a doorman in the evenings and the committee permitted him four buyouts a year for corporate parties. His application also included cover charges, the latter of which he said was an oversight and in fact there would not be a cover charge.

But even after his presentation and explanation, neighbors from 200 Chambers were completely opposed to his plans for the space.

“I am concerned that with this venue being a drinking-slash-dance-slash-bar area,” said one neighbor, “that there will be people leaving or exiting this venue and it will expose a lot of kids, not just mine. Tribeca is a family and kid-oriented neighborhood…When it’s open until 1 in the morning, they are not just drinking for a couple of hours. They are leaving after a good three, four, five hours of being at a venue.”

Neighbors also saw the doorman as being a problem, which I didn’t get, since many of their concerns had to do with the potential of smoking and conversation taking place on the sidewalk as patrons leave. CB1 member Pat Moore noted that the committee regularly asks restaurants to patrol their patrons as they leave, so the doorman should be a bonus.

“It would be catastrophic for our building and for our neighborhood,” said another neighbor, Nick. He also said the notice went up just a few days before the meeting, rather than the required 14, and neighbors didn’t have a chance to prepare. “The Palm catered to a business crowd and was a totally different kind of place. They promote bottomless brunch with live music and dancing, they have cover fees and a doorman. This is not appropriate for our neighborhood.”

Chair Susan Cole said the committee’s goal was to make sure that this was not going to be a nightclub, since the application gave some indications of that. But Celestin said that this concept is different from his East Meadow restaurant, which promotes events like salsa nights.

“You are comparing East Meadow to this location. We are planning something different here, just with the same chef and the same name,” Celestin said. “I can tell you it’s also different from The Palm. The reason the Palm is no longer here is that we understand we need to adapt to the times.”

The owners also plan to install a sidewalk café on the plaza within their property lines at Chambers and West, but will wait one year to come back to CB1 for that, as per the committee’s usual protocol.

The Licensing Committee added stipulations to their approval that the business would NOT have a cover charge and would NOT allow dancing except on the four buyouts a year. The owner agreed.

“I understand the concerns of the community,” said Cole. “There are somethings we can focus on and I think that is the aspect of a club and dancing and what that means. No liquor will be served before 10 am any day of the week. They want to have a high concept restaurant and they want to have a bar. Dancing has always led us to trouble in this community. I think it sets a tone. In a year’s time you can come back.”

To register more complaints, residents can also attend the CB1 Full Board meeting on June 27 at 6p in the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor – Southside.



  1. This is excellent news. I am much more concerned about empty storefronts and the problems that come with it. We should be applauding new commercial tenants. I feel so much safer when surrounded by the quiet buzz of nightlife.

  2. So it’s a big restaurant with a bar. It will have non-amplified live music, almost definitely not every day. If The Palm has decided to stay open late on weekends and add a jazz band, would anyone have complained? Why does it matter that the owners also have a restaurant that’s more of a party atmosphere! The group that owns Gramercy Tavern also owns the taco stand in Domino Park. I genuinely don’t understand the issue here. I hope this post clears up anyone’s concerns.

  3. Let’s just start with the fact that this venue is next to what is essentially a highway. West Street is not calm traffic (though it would be great if it were). If you have kids are you letting them roam around the corner of Palm and Highway? I think not.

    Further, this is NYC. And growing up here means experiencing all of it. Tribeca shouldn’t be Triburbia no matter what people think. Its one of the most transit dense neighborhoods and sits next to Fidi and Civic Center.

    There is more important issues to worry about.

    • Exactly — walking home from Whole Foods at night on West Street — what is more accurately described as the West Side Highway — noisy traffic rushes past but pedestrians are sometimes few and far between. I would welcome the presence of a business, particularly a busy restaurant, or, for that matter any business open late. The objections to this restaurant are preposterous. And yes, not only are there more important issues to be concerned about, but I cannot imagine a more frivolous objection on these grounds in this specific area, to a restaurant or any other business with late night operating hours.

    • What do you mean “essentially a highway”? It has traffic lights on every block and a 30 mile an hour speed limit. It’s a wider than a usual street but it’s not even close to being a highway.

  4. There is a school in that building, isn’t it? Can you have what they are proposing in a building with a school?

  5. I am not sure who is misleading this. But this is what we received as the residents of 200 chambers
    “ The tenant is applying for a “Full liquor license with recorded, live acoustic and DJ music and patron dancing. Full Service Restaurant and Bar”.
    As yet, there is limited specific information contained in the application. We do know that the applicant currently operates an existing restaurant (in a different location) with events offering unlimited alcohol and DJ parties, which is a concern. We are still gathering information about the 206 West Street venue’s specific intent.”

  6. Yes! Great use. The operator will be supper vigilant because of all the Type A’ers bossing the neighborhood around.
    I vote yes to wake this neighborhood up. West Side Hwy is noisy anyway. I vote yes and I live close by. Chu hi

  7. I am not worried about dancing or brunch for me it’s the 1am Thursday-Saturday as it will create a lot of noise and hard to sleep for us who live above the restaurant. I know many people in the neighborhood what got venues to close earlier for that reason, as it is a residential building.
    Otherwise it sounds fun, I would also be excited if it was on another street.

  8. Reminds me of “Footloose” too!
    The objections do sound irrational and overly dramatic. The Palm had a good bar scene too and people could spend the evening there getting sloshed. They could talk and smoke outside the door as well. The only difference with the new restaurant is the live music and with that, I think the only concern would be acoustic. It would be reasonable for the residents to want some assurance that the sounds from the band won’t be audible in the residential portion of the building. There are acoustic tests than can be done if need be. But aside from that, the hoopla seems overblown.

  9. The above comments are uninformed. This is not “quiet” nightlife. The application specifically calls for “live amplified music, DJs, sub-woofers, a doorman, cover charges, and soundproofing” as well as bottomless brunches with unlimited alcohol beginning as early as 10am. There is no place that any of the above posters can point to in Tribeca that is like the proposed establishment. Before you start throwing around words like “frivolous” and “preposterous” take a look at the application and inform yourself on what exactly is being proposed. This isn’t NIMBY-ism, the objections are thoughtful and based on the actual application, Community Board hearing on June 14th, and other facts. The proposed establishment is a dramatic departure from anything in the neighborhood. Why would a restaurant spend the money on a doorman if they don’t expect a rowdy bar scene with anticipated lines and/or patron intoxication? They aren’t doing it to be nice- they are incurring the cost of a doorman because they know what they are expecting!
    Furthermore instead of attacking each other why don’t we look at the root cause- the landlord – Jack Resnick & Sons. From what I understand they wouldn’t work with The Palm (a long time tenant) on adjusting the rent. Instead they have found a tenant that will accept the space “as is” and won’t require any renovations which is typically a cost absorbed by the landlord. Resnick will try to get the quick buck and doesn’t care about 200 Chambers or the community which is their right as a landlord but it’s still very disappointing and I think short sighted!  

  10. Oh no, bottomless brunches … there goes the neighborhood!

    For perspective….. Catastrophic was 9/11.

    This is a restaurant.

    Eva and Nick should consider moving to the suburbs. This is NYC. As it is, Tribeca has no personality anymore. Business closings are rampant. I welcome this.

    Also I’m tired “Family Friendly” stereotype that is constantly shoved down our throats. Tribeca isn’t just for kids. I raised a family here but I also understood and respected the fact that Tribeca is part of NYC, and an urban lifestyle comes with it. Are kids exposed to things earlier than their counterparts in the burbs? sure. And if this doesn’t suit you, perhaps city living isn’t for you. This restaurant isn’t exposing kids to anything inappropriate.

    This protest is ridiculous and entitled and NIMBYish.

  11. I don’t have an opinion on whether this restaurant is bad or good, because in a city where people defecate and sleep and shoot heroin in the streets (yes, in Tribeca, too), not much can make a difference in the long-run. It’s unequal, corrupt and, as can be evidenced by hostility that such discussions provoke, its citizens tend to prioritize their opinions, no matter how uninformed, over the diligent pursuit of communal happiness via communication.

    I did watch the board meeting out of curiosity. Here are some impressions. The owner of the restaurant, Mr. Celestin, talked about gaining Michelin guide mentions, corporate parties from big business, and power breakfasts. He called Chambers street “Cambridge street”, had no idea about the block’s specifics and, unlike other applicants for other restaurants in the area presenting during the meeting, did not try to pretend he even cared an iota about what people thought of him—one might even say it was refreshing honesty.

    Mr. Celestin wasn’t much interested in the pursuit of objective truth, either. He told the community and the board that the application did not include cover fees. When it was pointed out that they actually were, he feigned ignorance. When asked why the community board meeting notice was not posted on time, Mr. Celestin said it was due to the window washing at 200 Chambers. Which is interesting, because the window washing happened on the facade, and the notices were hung from the inside of the restaurant. Why the notice also misinformed the audience by specifying that the meeting would be held offline, as outline in the article, was not addressed.

    As a big admirer of satire, I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Celestin in action: when he was asked about live music and he was like “oh yes, instruments like harp and cello”. Aw. He also insisted that the restaurant would be different from the Long Island location known for its bottomless brunches and loud music—despite the fact that the application had the Long Island restaurant’s exact menu, and the same name. I’d wager it’s not the lack of imagination that drives Mr. Celestin forward but his great admiration for sophistics—that one shared interest could make him and local residents the best of friends. But, alas.

    Mr. Celestin had stated himself that he’d read the comments on Tribeca Citizen. This is likely what forged his decision to go into this as a battle, not as an opportunity to try to make friends. However, once the board expressed the opinion that dancing was a no-go, he was instantly as meek and mellow as a lamb, as he told the board about how important the American Express corporate event was to him, and how they can’t cancel dancing for it at the very least. I think it’s an interesting aspect of the situation, and invite others to tune in to tomorrow’s meeting. It will be a fun time, I’m sure, and you can observe some interesting character drama at the very least.

    I wish I could offer some sketches on the residents against the restaurant, but they were pretty much replicating what’s been said in the comments.

    I’ll end with a fun local fact: Fika coffee shop on Desbrosses, for instance, used to have discounts for their building’s residents, and likely it’s not the only establishment to have done so: because that’s one example of how you build relationships between the residents and the commercial tenant.

    The elephant in the room, as big as the new PS 234’s ridiculous scaffolding, remains: what is missing from the streets of New York, is communal affinity. No one wants to hear the other people out, everyone wants to state their opinion and fume, or perhaps fool everyone into submission. But hey, at least we can have $85 mac and cheese and endless smoke shops. Jacob Riis would be proud!

    • “when he was asked about live music and he was like “oh yes, instruments like harp and cello””
      Bro, this is a just a sarcasm.

  12. I live around the corner and think this is a horrible idea for those of you that want a lively corner with drunken fights and loud party goers, Move to Chelsea and leave our neighborhood wonderfully quite.

  13. This is a formula to yield tribeca into greenwich village

  14. The most likely outcome of he restaurant is failure. It’s extremely difficult to start new businesses anywhere, but especially in Tribeca where rents are high. Everyone in this discussion imagining a runaway ‘success,’ with dancing after midnight, mimosas on Monday mornings, and crowds of drunks harassing local school kids, are simply delusional.

    • Who wrote this condescending article, Celestin? And his cronies who don’t live anywhere near Tribeca or BPC seem to have supplied more than half the comments.

      I’ve seen this movie before. This is not anything that will appeal to locals or business people in the area. Goldman Sachs will not be having their weekly saucy salsa night here. The parents at 234 will not be here lining up woowoo shots at the bar after school dropoff.

      This is a B&T spot, plain and simple, that will draw non-local 20-something’s gorging themselves on bad food and bottomless margaritas. Wobbling out the door they will let loose a stream of Roses Lime juice-tinged vomit squarely at the feet of a group of 8 year olds on their way across the street to there little league game.

      Turtle Bay, Peppers, Pranna, the list goes on. Been there, done that. The good news is places like these all eventually close. But not before an underage partier gets run over on West St after stumbling out. Or shots get fired at 1am on a Saturday night and smash through a window at 101 Warren.

      Shut this down before it starts. It will save Celestin a boatload of cash when the business goes belly-up…the neighborhood the headache of having to deal with projectile pavement vomiters….and of course a few DiWi’s for patrons of this place, if not worse.

  15. Apparently this plan got shut down and there is a different restaurant coming in instead. Anyone have any insight into that?