While Sin Sin may be physically gone from its space on Fifth Street and Second Avenue, there's plenty of behind-the-scenes drama.
At the end of September, The East Fifth Street Block Association, who has been battling the bar for several years, learned of a hearing that was taking place in October regarding a violation against Sin Sin issued in 2009 for a second-floor kitchen, which no longer existed, listed in their original application.
The violation was for making alterations without permission from the State Liquor Authority (SLA). The operation's license application was attached to the official violation issued, and from that it was apparent that the operation was nothing like its representation in its SLA application.
The application was for a full-service restaurant, staff being listed as chefs, sous chefs, waiters, dishwashers, etc. According to experts in the business, Sin Sin should have done like most other operators do — settle with the SLA and pay the fine. But they allegedly did not.
The East Fifth Street Block Association representatives thought that this hearing would be a good forum to relate to the SLA how, through an alteration to the premises and methods of operation, the space had become what they described as "a scourge on its neighborhood." SLA officials postponed the hearing from October to this past Monday.
However, given that workers have dismantled the bar, Association representatives were unsure if Sin Sin would appear at the hearing.
"It appears that they are gone, so we did not even know if they would show up," Block Association President Stuart Zamsky said via e-mail. "Out of the ashes came their SLA lawyer to fight the charges. And so, it is anybody's guess whether Sin Sin has really packed their bags. They have not turned in their license as they should, and they are fighting the fight."
The Block Association is also fighting the fight. At Monday's hearing, they delivered an array of documents to the State Liquor Authority, including:
• A printed version of Sin Sin's website (since removed from the web) and event posters, depicting the space as primarily a bar and dance club, not a restaurant.
• A printed version of user reviews, offering a perspective of the operation as it existed — a dance club with a happy hour, not a restaurant.
• A DVD documenting two separate occasions that depict a wilding crowd outside the cub and acts of assault, not usually associated with a restaurant.
• A letter signed by State Assembly member Deborah Glick, State Senator Tom Duane, State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer making mention of the fact that violence and prostitution have been associated with the club. Also stating that these representatives, "refuse to believe that support for free enterprise requires turning a blind eye to businesses that disrupt and endanger our communities." It refers to Sin Sin as an establishment that has spiraled out of control.
• A letter from Counsel Member Rosie Mendez asking for the revocation of Sin Sin's liquor license.
• A petition from more than 250 Sin Sin neighbors asking the SLA to revoke the bar's license.
Meanwhile, there's a "for rent" sign on the former bar's second-floor window.
The number is for the 85 Second Ave. Realty Corp. — Sin Sin's landlord. No word yet on the next steps. Sin Sin owner Philip Quilter didn't respond to e-mails asking about the bar's future.
Previously on EV Grieve:
'The neighborhood will not rest until you are gone and Sin Sin’s license is revoked'
NYPD hosting meeting between Sin Sin and neighbors tonight
East Village noise wars new battlefront: Sin Sin/Leopard Lounge
Why the president of the East Fifth Street Block Association carries a baseball bat