Neighbors fight restaurant proposal for Laight and Washington

A longtime N. Moore resident, Taylor Hubbs, presented her plans for what I am calling an upscale pub at 70-72 Laight to Community Board 1 last week, and neighbors on several blocks surrounding came prepared to fight it. Still, CB1 approved the application but added a stipulation saying the restaurant must close by 10p (they asked for 1a), at least for the first year. The committee also nixed the restaurant’s plans for a occasional DJ.

Hubbs first proposed Sub Rosa for 175 Franklin last spring, but she could not come to an agreement with the landlord there. Now she has a preliminary agreement for the space on the north side of Laight between Washington and Greenwich, 4400 square feet that would allow for 49 seats at the bar and 25 seats in the dining area.

Her hook is art: a family friend has agreed to loan what her attorney called millions of dollars in works from the likes of Basquiat, Warhol and Damien Hirst to display inside. (She will employ a security guard to protect it.) As Hubbs described it this past spring, she wants to create a space that is as relaxed as a living room for her guests. She added that this would be the first space in New York City to bring art of this magnitude to a hospitality concept.

The president of the coop next door, at 74-76 Laight, Erica Marshad, represented what she said was 327 families on neighboring streets — not just Laight, but also Greenwich, Vestry and Washington — who are opposed to any restaurant coming into this space. (From what I can tell, there has not been anything in there for at least a decade, back when it was the offices for Thierry Despont, who owned the building as recently as 2019. Odd coincidence: Despont had the lease for the space Hubbs originally wanted at 175 Franklin.)

“I am really sorry to tell you but we don’t think this is in the best interest of our community,” Marchad said. “The qualify of life in Tribeca has really slid. To have another restaurant come in does not help us, it only helps you and your landlord. We are very pro business — we love the restaurants in our neighborhood — but this is not the right thing for us.”

There was a ton of back and forth between the residents, the committee members and the applicant’s attorney, who also happens to live in Tribeca. There were arguments about whether patrons could be seated on the raised platform outside the restaurant; whether the certificate of occupancy for the building would permit a restaurant; where the landlord lives and if that matters; whether the restaurant is more or less like neighbors L’Abeille and Paisley, and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

The applicant’s lawyer noted that a restaurant should be an appealing use for neighbors, though they were not buying it. “This could be a cannabis store [more on that soon!], this could be a sex shop, this could be something completely ludicrous,” he said.

There is no doubt that the block has a real problem with traffic coming out of the tunnel ramps AND Amazon, which sets up one of its [should be illegal] distribution warehouses on the street there. Neighbors also complained that they hear noise coming from the patrons of both Paisley and L’Abeille as they leave for the night. “This was a quiet residential neighborhood,” said one resident. “We came to North Tribeca looking for peacefulness and privacy.”

More on the restaurant: Hubbs says she has engaged a Michelin-starred chef to come up with a menu of French and Italian shared plates; her beverage director comes from the Italian fine dining Del Posto, which closed in 2021; she said she will put $200K into soundproofing the space. She also said her husband grew up in the neighborhood and that her father-in-law is in the industry, which I took to mean the restaurant business.

The website says coming in fall 2024.

The committee members said they were unlikely to reject the application and risk having no say with the SLA, which has made it clear that it is planning to fast-track applicants. “We can’t stop a license unless it is really egregious,” said chair Susan Cole. “We have to compromise. The community issue with this is so intense — we haven’t had this in a while.”



  1. Lot of nimbyism for what seems to be a nice neighborhood bar. I do agree that a 1am close and a DJ would be excessive for this block.

  2. Community boards should not exist. If not for bars and restaurants NYC would not exist. The people fighting this should leave the city if they’re concerned about normal city noise. Anything disruptive is on the business solve but to preemptively block is antisocial anticity nonsense.

  3. The reality is that northwest Tribeca is growing up and attracting more activity, and that should be considered a good thing. The concept sounds like a tasteful & elevated use of the space and I agree with the lawyer – it could be far worse, cannabis, sex shop, etc. Ultimately the building owner should be allowed to lease the space to whoever they want and in this case the tenant offering to spend $200k to soundproof the space is a very considerate gesture and will go a long ways to mitigating future issues.

  4. It must take some impressive mental gymnastics to live on the street which is the 24/7 primary exit from the Holland Tunnel and somehow still manage to complain about the voices of people leaving local restaurants as a disturbance

  5. I wonder why the proposed tenant
    didn’t go forward with the plan to open
    at 175 Franklin. It says that she couldn’t
    reach an agreement with the landlord.
    Maybe there was a reason for that.
    It seems that the landlord in this case is an absentee
    landlord who might not care what goes in there as long as the rent is paid.

  6. A true shame that this wasn’t seen as an ideal addition to Laight Street. The concept seems fitting, and what a better place than North Tribeca to showcase such an incredible collection of one-of-a-kind art. Shame on these residents for making it so difficult for this tenant. It’s not an easy business as it is. And I agree with Robert above, you live on LAIGHT STREET – a highway. Quite laughable, really.

  7. Not sure that the vehement opposition makes sense here given context and location; this is about the best type of retail tenant (i.e., upscale, arts-focused restaurant and neighborhood bar) one could hope for in this neighborhood, and the primary reason that living in NYC is 10x better than any other American city.

    Totally reasonable to negotiate hours/noise/etc. parameters, but otherwise the residents in opposition here seem to suggest, incorrectly, that “North TriBeCa” is and remains an exclusively residential neighborhood with nothing but daytime retail. NIMBYism at its worst, and a recipe for less safety at night (i.e., eyes on the street) while walking around.

  8. lol! All the comments here seem to come from friends of the landlord or the proposed business. Residents have input into what happens in their neighborhood via the community board (a good thing).

    • Utter nonsense.

      Plenty of longtime TriBeCa residents, including our household, live here precisely because it’s a neighborhood with a great retail mix, including dozens of wonderful restaurants and bars. If we wanted car-oriented, residential-only suburbia, we’d save ourselves a fortune living there.

      • What you’re seeing in this thread are people (who live outside the NW Tribeca Landmarked District) denigrating and criticizing the comments of families (who oppose a1am late night bar) who actually reside on the thoroughfare of the Holland Tunnel and don’t want hundreds more circulating cars and Ubers in the neighborhood every night. There are already diminished numbers of available parking spaces caused by Citibikes and rideshare designated parking.

        • Nope – live squarely in Tribeca. You’re really trying hard to dismiss the majority opinions in this comments section – maybe you’re wrong?

        • @JT – I don’t understand why you are referring to an upscale restaurant causing “traffic”. Do you see hoards of Ubers circling One White Street, Mr. Chow or Frenchette? It is not a concert hall with thousands of people coming and going at once. Truly grasping at straws for excuses to block what seems like a perfectly lovely business. Laight street is busy, yes. Particularly from 4-6pm. This is an evening establishment and an Uber drop off here and there would not effect the shit show that is holland tunnel traffic. Westchester is calling your name.

        • Yeah, it’s very clearly those Citibike racks which take up 2 parking spots while providing 100 bikes causing all of the traffic and parking issues in Tribeca and definitely not your 7 seater street parked Volvo – LOL

          The entitlement is strong in this one. There should be free street parking for everyone in NYC!!!

  9. All this anti business from Tribeca, creating all these stipulations for anything that’s not a yoga place or a kids clothes shop. And you wonder why all these cannabis shops pop up in its place that could have been a restaurant

  10. There are nice suburbs for the folks that don’t want a restaurant open late in their neighborhood.

    It’s tribeca. You have a short memory or none at all of how the area evolved. Kids can coexist with restaurants open late. It’s called urban upbringing

  11. It’s shocking and disheartening to read all these comments so lack of empathy and community support spirit, which is what Tribeca has become. What defines a long time Tribecan is debatable. Five years? Ten years? How about thirty years? To each quality of life complaint in the city there is a predictable ‘move to the suburb’ or of late ‘nimbyism’. Noise is the number one complaint in the city, living with unabated noise is damaging to mental and physical health.
    Many years ago a club was proposed in the building next door, the owner described a community hangout where neighbors can play Backgammon and have a drink. ( those innocent times!) It turned out to be what’s now called Event Space where people can throw the loudest parties ’til dawn, DJ or otherwise, and yes the druken brawl on the street in the early am as well as a sea of cigarette butts in front. ( btw you can’t soundproof outdoor space) That went on for ten years until Covid shut it down. All efforts fighting this were in vain. One thing is clear, the people have no voice, community board is there only to sign off businesses, not to protect quality of life.
    In the age of outdoor dining, roof parties and other countless transgressions our shared public space is shrinking by the minute, what’s lost is civility and consideration for others, in the name of ‘pro-business’.

    • Shocking? Disheartening? What you seem to be missing is that most people view this concept as something that would improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. It should be welcomed, not vehemently opposed by the minority, under the guise of compassion and civility.

      • What kind of quality of life? Whose quality of life? I fail to see your point, if there is one.

        • Oh, maybe you’re right. I guess it’s hard to see how a social venue, with prized art and food from a Michelin star chef, could bring increased happiness to the inhabitants of the area.

          • And how affordable will this bar be? Another 30 dollar drink? A ridiculous pricey restaurant? Just what Tribeca needs.

          • I have lived in Westchester suburbs and in Tribeca.
            Many of the comments in these posts assume that NYC
            life translates to acceptance of noise past midnight as opposed
            to the “tranquility” of suburban life. I have experienced both
            and can affirm that the vitality of city life is preferable but that
            doesn’t mean that residential city neighborhoods need to welcome nor accept establishments that proport to host events with DJs until 1am.

          • Love it- from the “city than never sleeps” to the “city when Elizabeth from westchester usually goes to bed”

    • Shrinking public space? The best public space in the city is just across the highway in Rockefeller park, WSH running path, and the beautiful piers that have been built in Tribeca. If you walk the streets in the morning you see all the restaurants like Wolfgangs cleaning the sidewalks at 8am. Cigarette butts is not an applicable concern to thwart needed indoor lively spaces. Has Fouquets ruined the neighborhood or made your property value increase? I’m sure your family is grateful for local business, whether Estancia, l’abeille, or Citi Bank, for making the neighborhood desirable and energetic. This isn’t Tao Group, it’s our own neighbors.

  12. What a wonderful concept! I can’t wait for it to open!

  13. The residents represented at the CB1 Licensing Committee Meeting who are against the bar out number the folks with comments supporting the bar here. 330+ families who live in the neighborhood surrounding 72 Laight (equal to over a thousand residents) are opposed to it. Can’t the restaurant owner see there’s an overwhelming majority of people surrounding her that don’t want her in their hood and that she might have community approval with no resistance to open a bar where Nobu, Chanson, Palm have left their abandoned spaces?

  14. @Nancy Tribeca is the 2nd most expensive zip code in the state after Sagaponack… this isn’t Bushwick

  15. Sometimes it’s ok to admit that you’ve surpassed the expectations or limitations set by the pace of life in New York City, whether in terms of physical or emotional aging.

    You can’t hang on to what is past in your life by bringing down potential new neighbors, tenants, and businesses.

    Sometimes, it’s just time to bounce and let NYC do its thing, instead of holding onto old stuff that’s only messing things up for everyone else.

    • Yo B: Spare us the lecture and age related abuse and disparagement about moving to the suburbs. Your snarky remarks in favor of yet another restaurant bar with $30 drinks and smelly vent emissions are certainly not from the mind of a tax paying homeowner in the landmarked district NW Tribeca. Anyone who invested in this neighborhood knows adding a bar brings nothing but trouble. Trouble like loud partygoers, rats, filthy sidewalks, loud commercial carting trucks at 5am, smokers and secondhand smoke….all surrounded by residential buildings. Every building on the block is against this restaurant.

      • I understand your concerns about the potential downsides of adding a bar to the neighborhood. It’s essential to consider the impact on residents and the environment. However, proponents argue that such establishments can contribute to the local economy and community spirit. Finding a balance between economic growth and preserving the residential character might be a challenge worth addressing.

        But you quickly dismiss the premise without listening to the assurances of the business. Basically you’re not even giving them a chance – faulting them as guilty before they have even opened. That’s just negligent to the community and its economy and selfish

        • Hello B: You speak of being negligent to the community and selfish. The applicant proposes 1am close time 6 days a week and a DJ. The only one being selfish is the applicant, who is without regard to the community. There are over 350 families in the immediate vicinity who oppose this.

          • I walked Paros when it was at capacity and bustling. Outside there was no noise. Locanda Verde is so loud inside. Outside it was fine.

            Are you saying all the businesses in Manhattan past midnight should be closed?

            I live near Puffy’s. I close my windows and it’s fine.
            Safeguards can be put in place. Voice those safeguards instead of just saying no and demanding no change to a terrible Tribeca commercial backdrop.

  16. It makes me sad to read so many negative comments about a proposed new restaurant in the neighborhood. There have been many comments lamenting the number of empty storefronts and also lambasting so-called “greedy landlords” when a retail business shuts down. I’ve also noticed many recent comments to the effect that Tribeca doesn’t “need” this or that new restaurant or other business, suggesting that somehow they should have the right to decide what type of business opens in our neighborhood. If you own a commercial rental property, of course you want to find a tenant who can pay a rent that is sufficient to defray the significant costs of maintaining the property (real estate taxes, mortgage interest, fuel bills, compliance with NYC regulations, etc.) plus a reasonable profit. So long as a tenant’s proposed use is permitted by zoning and other applicable laws (and in the case of commercial condo units, the condo governing documents), the property owner has every right to rent the property to that tenant. Do folks really think that property owners should rent to their preferred type of tenant at a loss? Or would it be better to leave the storefront empty? We live in one of the best neighborhoods in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. If there’s an uprising every time a new business wants to open here, Tribeca could well become the residential and retail wasteland it was way back when.

  17. For all those that are sad to see so much opposition to have a nice restaurant and disagree with the outcomes, email CB1 at the below to tell them they need to stop with the suburban treatment:


  18. Sounds like a great concept to me. I’d gladly have this on our Tribeca block. Also, doesn’t having a restaurant or bar on one’s block (assuming the patrons are not unruly) actually increase safety in the evenings, when otherwise streets can be quite desolate? (Maybe that’s just speculation, but it at least feels safer that there is some street life).

    I love the idea of being surrounded by the artworks. Doing away with the DJ makes sense. It will probably be too expensive for our budget except for perhaps an occasional special date, but that’s true of most Tribeca places. Still, seems a worthy addition.

    (One question is whether the management/owners will actually honor the no-DJ etc. rules. Maybe that needs to be put clearly in writing in a letter to the community board).

  19. Tribeca Rats are also voted in favor of the restaurant!

  20. I live on this very corner of Tribeca and love this concept! My wife and I will be frequenting this upscale Pub!

  21. In response to B:
    Kindly read more carefully or do not make
    assumptions. I am from NYC, born and raised.
    I said that I had lived in both NYC and Westchester
    Perhaps there is room for more than just your opinion.

  22. There’s all the abandoned restaurants in the neighborhood like Bouley, Nobu, Nobu Nextdoor, How’s Bayou/Maison Kaiser, Sweetgreen, Palm Tribeca, and others. Why elbow your way in where nobody wants or needs you? There are now over 360 families against this, and none of them are going to become your customers.

    • Ignoring for a moment that some of these spots current have signed new tenants that are busy renovating these spaces, the places you note are some of the largest, most prime spaces in the neighborhood that are asking rents in excess of $50K a month, which only seasoned, well financed restauranteurs can even think about taking on. That represents less than 5% of restaurant owners. Most are small mon and pop operations, many trying for the first time and need to find a place that both works for the concept and rent. NYC desperately needs people ready to start new businesses, and needs to crack down on people creating unnecessary and unreasonable roadblocks.

      • Reademan: Your point about mom and pop restaurateurs doesn’t apply to this applicant. The community is not presenting unreasonable roadblocks, just common sense. Why not repurpose an existent abandoned former restaurant for rent and available…which already has exhaust vent flues approved and built, and previous liquor license approval? This applicant is well funded, willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on sound proofing, wants to engineer and install an exterior flue to vent the restaurant stove, will need a fire suppression system over the stoves to prevent fires at 72 Laight (which is a non fire proof construction building), and she also wants to pay extra for a full time security guard at the front door to protect the $million art she plans on showing. C’mon, don’t cry poverty.

  23. The outcome of “Neighbors fight restaurant proposal for Laight and Washington” article above is: the liquor license applicant abandoned the 72 Laight Street proposed establishment location and decided to go back to the 175 Franklin Street address application, and then…. she cancelled at the last minute prior to CB1 Licensing Committee’s public meeting where a resolution would have been achieved.