Monday, February 8, 2016

The Honey Fitz in the works for St. Mark's Place and Avenue A



There are ambitious plans in the works to convert and combine the former Hop Devil Grill space on St. Mark's Place with the temporarily closed Nino's Pizza next door on Avenue A, according to public documents (PDF) on the CB3 website.



A team led by James Morrissey (The Late Late on East Houston) and Gerard McNamee (Webster Hall) are proposing an operation called The Honey Fitz that would offer quick-serve breakfast as well as lunch and dinner ... in addition to a bar with "upscale craft cocktails." During the week, The Honey Fitz would offer free Wi-Fi and printers for "all local creative entrepreneurs."




[Screenshots via the CB3 website]

According to the paperwork filed ahead of this month's CB3-SLA meeting on Feb. 16, The Honey Fitz is named for the yacht owned by the Kennedys.

The configuration shows two bars in the conjoined spaces ... with seating for up to 90 people. The proposal includes a plan for a sidewalk cafe with 5-7 tables for two along St. Mark's Place.


[Click to go big]

As mentioned, the plan calls for the conversion of longtime tenant Nino's pizzeria, which has been anchoring the corner of Avenue A and St. Mark's Place.

Nino's had to close on Oct. 21 due to a gas leak in the building, according to a sign on the door. On Nov. 17, the pizzeria was hit with an eviction notice. Owner Nino Camaj has said that the gas was shut off in the building without any notice to him.

In late November, Camaj's lawyers were reportedly in discussion with landlord Citi Urban Management to dispute the rent charged for the month during which they had to close due to the gas leak. As we understand it, Camaj still has a lease on the space, and is currently in court over the matter.

You can read the comprehensive questionnaire for The Honey Fitz at the CB3 website. (Here.) The questionnaire includes several letters of no objection from nearby neighbors who said they would welcome this concept to the block.

The SLA committee meeting is Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the CB3 office, 59 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I live on this block. No one asked me for my signature of support. For the record, I do not support this. I can already envision the breakfast/lunch service ending after a few months and this will just be another expensive cocktail bar. And a bar named after a yacht tells you the target audience.

equilibrist said...

I'm rooting for Nino. We don't need another 90-seat bar along Avenue A. But we do need a slice joint.

Anonymous said...

If you oppose this please attend the meeting and if you can't please send a letter to slacommittee@cb3manhattan.org and copy sstetzer@cb3manhattan.org. Nino has nothing to do with this business, intends to reopen and runs a business that serves residents, this will not.

Anonymous said...

This has to be the most ridiculous idea for an east village restaurant (bar in sheep's clothing) so far. A giant themed playground for tourists and recent transplants from suburbia to eat from an IHOP quality menu and overprice "mixologist" drinks. This place does not belong in the EV or in any other part of the city outside out Times Square. Rally the troops time to stop this shit storm from happening.

blue glass said...

what the 2#*%&1133 is "vintage American history"?

do you want to live near a webster hall?

need i go on?

Giovanni said...

At least you won't have to walk all the way over to 3rd Avenue if you want to hang out at Webster Hall.

Anonymous said...

We need pizza for playground fun! Not a place for riches to gawk at the park wildlife.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering when we'd see new bars and other businesses that will exclusively be serving the condo owners coming to Shaoul's and Steiner's projects on A

Anonymous said...

Sounds more like another fucking Tonic.... Whooo!!!

sam_the_man said...

sigh.

Anonymous said...

Looks interesting, esp the all day concept.

Michael Ivan said...

"Irish inspired upscale healthy organic lunch/dinner product" is a mouthful... and sounds absolutely ridiculous. Using the word upscale for anything really sounds funny. Things just are or they aren't, no need declaring.

Anonymous said...

"Craft cocktails". How novel, just what the area needs

Shawn G. Chittle said...

I'm Irish!

Holy fracking shit no!

No more damn bars on Ave A for crying out loud!

This monstrosity belongs in midtown!

Anonymous said...

How can they do this when one of the spaces is leased by Nino, are these people clueless?

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. absolutely not. I can't even walk over there on a Saturday night. I love how they act like "free printers" and "free wifi" (as if wifi isn't everywhere) for people from the block (???) is going to hide what this BS really is. Even the name makes me shudder - all those obnoxious, pretentious well-to-do sheeple clamoring to go there. Please. I would actually be surprised if the SLA approved this even remotely, on that corner.

Anonymous said...

I love the use of the word 'craft' these days when referring to beer or cocktails.... 'oh..it's been *crafted*...how special for our unique millenial demands'.

Anonymous said...

To be sure I'm understanding this, their concept is to attract three wildly different types of people? The healthy breakfast crowd, the artisanal cocktail crowd, and the 'shit, my printer is out of ink' crowd?

Seriously?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been in Miss Lily's since 7A closed?

Anonymous said...

And I'd rather have the Dead Kennedy's than the Kennedy's fooken yacht, any day. Now that's Irish yer ya.

Anonymous said...

Haha - why does anyone think this is going to be like webster hall? so, if you own two things - they must be exactly the same, right? is that it?

The Late Late is not a bad place (I've only been 2-3 times, but each time was very mellow) so not sure the assumption here that it's going to be a sh8tshow is based on anything.

If a new pizza shop was going in, people would complain that it's for drunks at 4am.

Edmund Dunn said...

"And I'd rather have the Dead Kennedy's than the Kennedy's fooken yacht, any day. Now that's Irish yer ya."

Thank you. And from the glory days of the National Lampoon magazine, from Wiki:

"The case resulted in much satire of Kennedy*, including a mock advertisement in National Lampoon magazine showing a floating Volkswagen Beetle with the remark that Kennedy would have been elected president had he been driving a Beetle that night; this satire resulted in legal action by Volkswagen, claiming unauthorized use of its trademark. National Lampoon also printed a fake quote from Kennedy, as a "response" to a question on whether he planned to campaign for President in the next election: "I'll drive off that bridge when I come to it."

*Ted

Call the bar "The Chappaquiddick" and maybe I'll show.

Anonymous said...

This looks totally awesome.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to bitch and moan and whine and hate about this place, but it's all futile. Seems like this is the kind of business that the newbies and transients want. I'd have preferred the Hop Devill Grill because it's the devil you know, you know.

I've bitched and moaned and whined about the opening of Empellon, Miss Lily's 7A Cafe, Proletariat... and lamented the closings of what used to be in those respective places, to no avail. East Village has become a destination. It is no longer a neighborhood or a community. People who patronize these places don't know the history, has no respect of it, even if they did know, and think that East Village was created for them.

I've moved. And recently I took a walk-through around the places aforementioned, and it's sad on how the neighborhood has become. The faces that I encounter --newbies-- are unfamiliar yet they are all similar, like clones of each other, as if they are waking on a catwalk, posing, waiting to be photographed if not photographing themselves already, waiting to be noticed, while having a blank stare or bitchy resting face when walking, or staring at their phone, talking loudly in their phones... And they think that the locals are part of the design of these bars for their patron to gawk at for their entertainment. Very few of them become regulars to these joints and/or stay in the neighborhood. East Village has become an adult Disneyland where alcohol is the ride and main attraction. Maybe I'm old, but I'm not. Honey Fitz would be a perfect addition to Bedford and Bowery and East Village today!

Anonymous said...

3:38: so true, and so depressing. But I'm down here for the long haul. And waiting for this baby to burst.

Giovanni said...

The Honey Fitz is a perfect name because it rhymes with The Money Pits.

Anonymous said...

How can these people do business with a landlord who has left his residential and commercial tenants without gas since early October. Not the way to ingratiate yourself to the community. And to do business with a landlord who is trying to force out a long time established business like Nino's is even shadier. Shame on you! SAVE NINO'S!

Anonymous said...

yuck

Anonymous said...

3:38 PM: I don't know if the East Village was ever a community or neighborhood in the sense of people knowing and caring about each other as a group. It's more a state of mind. Or being. One of the canvasses on which New Yorkers would paint their dreams, and nightmares. The city within the city that never sleeps. The East Village I've known is fading fast. (But E.V. Grieve is only getting better.)

Anonymous said...

If you're here for the long haul, should this place close, there's another douchey or douchier place waiting to take its place. Enjoy the honey and putzes, hun.

Anonymous said...

The outrage, which is so easy when posting a comment, needs to be translated into attendance at the Community Board meeting. Sure Community Boards are rigged in most cases, but it still has to be done. The wrong attitude, I think, is to constantly harp on the fact that this or that new venture is not going to attract the "real" people of the community. That kind of talk just makes people sound grumpy. Facts: how many bars / concept establishments in the area, what is the noise level impact, what is the impact on already stressed resources like policing, sanitation control etc. etc. Complaining that "these" people don't belong here won't get anywhere.

Anonymous said...

These bars are attracting people that should be in Murray Hill or Las Vegas Strip. Would love to a/tend the Community Biard meetings but these tyoe if establishmments and the people they attract and thwir support of CB3 are what push me out. Having these bars around won't get the community anywhere.

Anonymous said...

At 8:18pm. I couldn't agree more. IF we turn out a crowd, I will be there, we can send this crowd with their upscale concept restaurant up to Times Square or Disneyland. Commenting here is good, but coming to the CB 3 meeting is what will carry the day

Anonymous said...

The establishment sounds great and the concept is not a dingy dive bar but a high class restaurant and bar catered to a sophisticated crowd. I have frequented the late late bar and have seen how well it is run and would be happy for something similar to open in the area. I am surprised by the amount of resistance and negativity above from the residents (which I am one). In an area that has always been known for a great nightlife it feels like the ambience wants to be taken away from a select few. I hope the vote goes in the favor as I am looking for a new local with an nice ambience, a great pint of Guinness and to see the st marks st to continue to develop.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:57 pm, are you paying attention at all? One of the storefronts this "new local with an (sic) ambience" is attempting to occupy already has a local with a nice ambience called Nino's Pizza and they have a 10 year lease, but no gas! I guess you are too sophisticated to support a long time local business and the residents of the building who have no gas in the dead of winter. Do sophisticated people not need to cook or shower? Even the Kennedys needed gas, and I heard JFK and Bobby enjoyed a pizza every now and then. Smuck.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather see good operators who exist within the community already take this space than someone we don't know much about. From what I hear, the late late is a nice place to go for both food and cocktails.

Anonymous said...

Finally a large space that's laptop friendly. I'm for it.

Anonymous said...

as a former board member, and having attended too many cb#3 sla committee meetings as a resident, sometimes till long after midnight, i found it to be the least productive activity i could be involved in.
the committee would listen to numerous residents complain about the problems caused by the proliferation of bars. even having the prospective owners sign a stipulation about their operations (back yard use, closing time, sound levels, serving food till closing, etc.) did little to relieve the problem of the usually loud, rowdy drunk patron's behavior.
approving only a beer/wine license (even with the caveat that they not apply for a full liquor license) had little impact and a year later the folks were back requesting an upgrade to a full liquor license, which was usually granted.
there is even a category "renewals with complaint" and an "application within saturated area".
it will take organizing almost the entire community against new liquor licenses to stem this tidal wave of bars and boozers. almost every street has several bars,
and unfortunately this community does not have strong a strong political force.

let's face it, the easiest way for a business to profit is with a full liquor license. even the galleries and theaters are getting into the act.

equilibrist said...

@10:57 Hi Morrissey and McNamee!

Anonymous said...

To make it more realistic that you are a resident, it's helpful to get the details right, such as referring to it as St Marks's Place instead of St Marks St. As a resident, you would also know that St. Dymphna's nearly across St Mark's Place from here serves " a great pint of Guinness." Check them out next time you are visiting.

Anonymous said...

To all those that seem to look forward to this place being realized all I can say is you obviously don't live on or close to this block. We don't want or need another bar here! Bars generate drunk people who will stand around outside loudly talking and laughing (possibly fighting) while residents are in bed and trying to sleep. For every bar or restaurant like this which opens small business owners are forced out and residents need to travel even further to get the very basics necessities to live here, i.e.: food, laundry, shoe repair, hardware store, etc...

Anonymous said...

Why can't they do this same concept in just the Hop Devil space? That place was plenty big for a bar, restaurant

Anonymous said...

I can remember when this was Stingy Lulu's with drag queen servers that actually DID also serve breakfast!

Anonymous said...

Yes, another place dor those with self-illusion of selectivity. #SIoS

Anonymous said...

Thanks, 8:16. Was gonna add that, but you already did. I do not understand why every space ends up as a bar, but the politics of CB decision making explains it!

Anonymous said...

For them to get a license all try need to do is call Alex Stupak across the street and ask him to design for them a bait and switch concept like he did . This is nothing more than a bar. Not too hard to see through it. Why can't they just be honest and not try to mask it?

Anonymous said...

Be warned this is a bait-and-switch. They want djs. Bad sign. Trust me breakfast and lunch won't happen after 6 months from opening. Check DOB filings....

Late Late is a nightmare on Houston. The cops are supporting this is a tell-tell sign how deep the corruption is.

CB3 better not buckle and fight for the East Village. I would check veracity of all the letters and petition signatures.

This will be a nightmare for St Marks /Ave A. No public benefit whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

CB 3 will stand firm if people turn out in opposition. If anyone knows Nino, call him and let him know what these creeps are up to.

Anonymous said...

@12:28 am: Since you were a board member, maybe you can tell us what the incentive is for the board to greenlight all these liquor licenses.
Speaking of bad neighbors, Big Lee's, if you're reading this, I'm coming for you. By all legal means necessary.

Anonymous said...

7:21pm
there was not one incentive to approve a bar or "restaurant"
during the early years of cb approvals i don't think anyone realized how negative the impact would be - the neighborhood didn't have many restaurants and there were not that many bars
there are too many bar owner/members of cb#3 and the sla committee
some members get contributions to organizations
some get nothing but like bars
some trade votes
some members really some care about the neighborhood

Anonymous said...

This should be reported to the news. Seriously. Been going on for months now. So many families without gas and with business not running biz owners are being affected as well. Urban Management get a grip. You're going to lose a lot of residents and business.

Anonymous said...

Leave the neighborhood and the business people who have made you successful already. This management company has no respect. Family owned and run pizza by Ninos is a gem.

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand how all these people can live in NYC and not embrace change. I live on the block and get excited when new businesses come in, be they restaurant, bar, storefront.. Even when I bemoaned the loss of Whole Earth Bakery, I'm happy to see VDP Pizza there as well. Hop Devil was good too but I'm happy to give this new place a chance!

Giovanni said...

Embrace change? Oh boy, thanks for the laugh. It's not change the people around here object to as much as the millennial/hipster/fraternity crowds that come with it.

This isn't the theme park also known as the Meatpacking district, this is a neighborhood that many people have called home for decades, but for far too many other people it's just a playground to trash on the weekends.

If millennials actually supported all these new businesses that cater to them that would be one thing. But the minute they get distracted by a shiny new object someplace else, they move on and the businesses close. We have lost countless businesses to the greed of landlords and whims of millennials, who have the loyalty and attention span of a gnat with a degree from NYU.

Even Whole Foods is being forced to install tattoo parlors and record shops in their grocery stores because millennials have already started spending their money elsewhere. The last thing I want to see who I'm buying groceries, or should I say grosseries, is some kid getting a Lady Gaga tattoo on their ass. What's next, nipple rings on Aisle 2?

The problem is that millennials aren't loyal to anything except for the next fad. People around here used to support businesses that stayed open for 50 to 100 years. The new businesses are lucky to make it to 50 weeks.

Embrace change? Isn't that what the landlord said while serving the eviction notice?

deva said...

To Giovanni at 9:16AM: Hell YES, agree 100%. What's being attempted here is not without precedent. Just look at what happened to the Meatpacking District and maybe ask their longtime residents how they've been impacted, then check-in with the below-Houston LES residents. When they turn your neighborhood into a "destination", it means it's an amusement for outsiders now, and NOT you. Also, an oh-snap shoutout to the anonymous commenter who corrected the "neighborhood resident" who refers to St. Marks Street.