Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the August CB3/SLA docket: Pretty much every East Village storefront will soon be a bar

In August, the SLA & DCA Licensing Committee is the only Community Board 3 group to meet... on Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the usual place — JASA/Green Residence, 200 E. Fifth St. at Bowery.

Given the number of applicants, they may need to meet twice in August... there are 45 items in total. (Last August, there were just 16.)

Everyone wants a piece of the East Village Gold Rush... there's no stopping this until every business is a bar. Doesn't it seem that way? It's beyond out of hand.

Here's a look at just some East Village-related items... we don't have much information about any of these applicants just yet... The full rundown is at the CB3 website.

Renewal with Complaint History

• Affaire (Chow Main Corp), 240 E 4th St (aka 50 Ave B) (op)

• The Delancey (ADR Restaurant Inc), 168 Delancey St (op)

• UCB East (Upright Citizens Brigade East Village LLC), 155 E 3rd St (wb)

Sidewalk Café Application

• Mary Anns's (Vargomez Corp), 300 E 5th St

• Bareburger (Bare City Two LLC), 85 2nd Ave

Applications within Resolution Areas

• To be Determined, 172 Ave B (op)

This the is the rumored BBQ place coming to the former Mercadito Cantina space...

• Urge (Prince 28 LLC), 14 Ave B (op)

Ugh. No one will give up trying this space between East Second Street and Houston. CB3 shot down applicants hoping to open various clubs and brewpubs here in the past...

• Croissanteria (Croissanteria Inc), 68 Ave A (wb)

As mentioned yesterday...

• Caffe Buon Gusto (Ave B Buon Gusto Corp), 76 Ave B (wb)

They've been touting a bring your own bottle policy since opening...

• Seiei LLC, 130 St Marks Pl (wb)


• NY Tofu House (6 St Marks Restaurant LLC), 6 St Marks Pl (wb/convert storage to dining room)

• Goat Town (511 E 5th St LLC), 511 E 5th St (op/extend front window hours)

• Lakeside Lounge (La Ritt Inc), 162-164 Ave B (op/add bar)

New Liquor License Applications

• Hi Collar (Sobaya Restaurant Inc), 214 E 10th St (wb)

The former Rai Rai Ken space...

• Café Himalaya (Norsang Café Inc), 78 E 1st St (wb)

[Bobby Williams]

• Shanasheel Corp, 124 E 4th St (wb)

This is the former Social Tees space... they moved to East Second Street last December...

• Ramen and Gyoza House Zen 6 (Zen 6 LLC), 328 E 6th St (wb)

• To be Determined, 224 E 10th St (wb)

Merciel is the boutique that sold wedding dresses... they recently closed, and something booze-related hopes to take its place.

• To be Determined, 139 E 12th St (wb)

Something coming to the long-closed D&M Convenience store at Third Avenue.

• Alder Restaurant LLC, 157 2nd Ave (op)

Hmm... this is the address for Plum Pizzeria and Bar...

• Feast (Two Guize LLC), 102 3rd Ave (op)

The New York Central Framing Annex has moved around the corner to East 12th Street... and a restaurant-bar is in the works for the old space...

• The Sterling Room, 189 E 3rd St (op)

This is the Le Caire Lounge space...

• To be Determined, 179 E 3rd St (wb)

Something in the works for the string of newly remodeled storefronts between Avenue A and Avenue B...

• To be Determined, 79 St Marks Pl (op)

Something new for the former Typhoon Lounge space... which closed in March.

Corporate Change (not heard at committee)

• Flea Market (Alouette Corp), 131 Ave A (op)

We discussed this matter back here.

• Spice Cove (CNR Enterprises NY Inc), 326 E 6th St (wb)


b=beer only | wb=wine & beer only | op=liquor, wine, & beer | alt=alterations |up=upgrades


Brian Van said...

I do think a fair amount of these aspiring business owners are just trying to capitalize on what is otherwise a destructive trend (yes, despite my arguing for reason in the CB endorsement process, there can be TOO MANY BARS)... but...

I'm more concerned that some of these empty spaces, especially the ones that keep coming before the CB for endorsements on liquor licenses (that are never granted)...

Well, wouldn't the landlords be the ones with the most blame here? Obviously, since the proposals are all coming from potential lessees, it likely means the landlord is shopping around the empty retail space with something similar to the following: "3,000 SF LIQUOR LICENSE READY FOOD OK COME IN AND OPEN A DOUCHEBRO JOINT, BRO! $20,000/mo PLUS KEY MONEY"

So, this is what's killing the East Village - landlords are actively trying to entice pricey tenants, the banks and the pharmacies are not going to take diminutive spaces (though they will do something like take a large corner building like they did with the M.J. Armstrong's space), and these landlords can't find enough decent high-end restaurant entrepreneurs out there and they're sick of renting to clowns who go out of business. So, to me, it seems like the next best way for these landlords to bring in a tenant who will pay top dollar to run a business regardless of use to the community... it's these high-end lounges and wine bars where there is no live entertainment, no cheap drinks, very little or no food, and just really nothing going on. There are better ideas out there, but the landlords want all the money they can get, and they'll take the stupidest idea if it looks viable and stable and it'll pay whatever they feel they DESERVE.

But, no, they don't deserve rents that high, and the dark side of this market is that many of these spaces stay empty indefinitely. It's a particular kind of urban blight... one where most of the community desperately hopes for quality businesses to come around while landlords stubbornly sit on empty space that they'll only rent to the wealthiest operators. It's like a third world country. And I don't know if there's a solution to it... since so many buildings in NYC are owned by such landlords and no one sane can afford to buy them back from anyone, I fear that the horses have already left the barn long ago. And since the same dynamics are currently ruining Brooklyn... maybe northwestern Queens is where we can go next?

dwg said...

An unfortunate trend supported by city and policies which encourage this type of business model. Diversity and quality of life go right out the window while landlords claim they're just trying to survive. And in some cases they are, but for the most part it's all part of a vicious cycle that says get as much money as you can however you can. Bloomberg sees it as good business.

EV Grieve said...

@ Brian

Agreed — 14 Avenue B has been empty for a good five years... I've lost track of the different concepts pitched for the space. At one point, 16 Avenue B was also part of the package... until Discovery Wines moved in.

What makes it different this month ... instead of one bar turning over to become another bar... stores (boutique, frame shop, etc.) are moving out, and the landlords are replacing them with bars-cafes, etc. Not a shocker. But it continues to be a troubling trend. When does it end?

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

The city council has kowtowed to the mayor at least since Giuliani, and term limiting them has neutered them even further. Nothing will change as long as real estate industry has the ear of a strong mayor.

This issue, and the chain store problem, is something that needs to be addressed in the next mayoral election. The real estate industry, residential and commercial, is strangling NYC.

Anonymous said...

It's great to have places like Grieve and JM Vanishing New York to vent, but speaking for myself here and I know probably alot of you as well, we have to stop looking at what's going on as a battle that we're waging. The battle is over and all of these wealthy fuck-faces have taken over. Very real and present, but also never ceases to amaze me how things went in this direction. After living in the East Village for 20 years I'm beginning to visualize the day when I'll leave. I feel like I'll be here forever, but there's no real point in it.

If you're an LP record collector you'll agree with the follwing analogy: New York City is becoming a re-issue of itself. Re-issues are identical cheap versions of original LPs and in the collector's market are usually worth maybe the vinyl it's printed on, or sometimes worth nothing at all. Anything from Coltrane 'A Love Supreme',to any of the original Beatles or Elvis LPs. If they're not the original they ain't worth much. The covers may have the same artwork, and of course the songs will all be there, but it's NOT the original and therefore the value cheapened and those that don't know or don't care will just accept it. This is what's happening to New York. It may look the same, it may sound the same, but it's NOT the original. It's a cheap flimsly version of it's original self. And for those of us that enjoy the finer points of life there's no place for stuff like this because life itself is not a cheap duplicate and should not be live as such.

Anonymous said...

Yes this liqour license thing is out of control.
However, I wish the best for UCB.
I've never gone there but I had an issue with the place at first, assuming there would be hordes of fratty crowds woo'ing on the sidewalks, but they've been cool, it's been chill. And they did take that stupid hot chicks sign down haha.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Wow, this list is crazy, so I'll limit my comment to one -

The food at Caffe Buon Gusto is really good. I got the impression people were opting for the place next-door because they could order drinks. That said, my friend and I told each other we should take advantage of the slow business and go to CBG as much as possible before they get their license and become crowded. So, for now, anyone who wants an excellent and affordable meal without the obnoxious loud crowd really should give it a try.

tourist said...

you see this pattern elsewhere, bar neighborhoods have bars, restaurants, pizzerias, and delis. im sure the rush for liquor licenses is connected also to the rents being so high. these neighborhoods become unbareable at night, even dangerous a little with all the drunk people looking for fights. i dont really have a statement or solution but these observations. i think a lot of it started with the rents being so high, it limits what can exist.

JAZ said...

On the docket: a whole lotta woo

bowery boy said...

As an arts-maker I'm supposed to think out-of-the-box, and maybe I'll be too out on this one, but I'm beginning to agree with the hipsters, "...the horse is out of the barn."

Maybe, instead of fighting to keep what we love, which is almost all gone anyway, we need to push for more of what we hate, and force the ark of neighborhood transition to move faster.

Let's do have a bar on every lot until none of them can get enough business stay in business. Let's have a club under every market-rate tenant until they hate living here and take their big money elsewhere.

I just don't know if we can ever get our neighborhood back until everyone out there thinks that this is the worst place in the city to come party. Let's over do it for them.

Ya see, there just are not enough of us left to keep our Mom-n-Pops in business, so let's get to where all the other once-popular neighbors eventually got to - overkill.

Sure, I dream of a CB with the balls to say No regularly - that's one way to drive down landlord prices. Or for them to have something stronger than a "resolution area" like a "you-cannot-have-a-bar/club-on-this-block-ever" rule. But getting CB3 to stand up for the residents of CB3 seems beyond asking too much. So, maybe we need to go the other way.

Barring some heroism from our CB folks, we're not going back to the days when the ground floor stores were open when we were at work, and closed when we came home to live. Landlords banks on all their spaces being active for all 3 shifts of the day. The density has made it untenable for us, but they will not change their ways until it is untenable for everyone else: bars, tourists, and monied residents alike.

How can we get to this point sooner: a bar on every lot until they die like too many fish in a pond? Is it possible?

Anonymous said...

Urge is trying to move into that spot on Avenue B? Or maybe just the same owners building a new bar? I wouldn't mind a new gay bar in the area.

blue glass said...

almost all of the businesses along the center of the south side of 10th street 1-2 avenue serve beer and wine or liquor.
while the majority may be small japanese fast food establishents, larger restaurants or dessert establishments; in combination they create a carnival atmosphere with folks hanging outside waiting to get in or having a smoke. none of these food places close early. all are open 7 days a week.
and even if everyone speaks at a conversational level voice (not a usual occurrence) the din can get quite loud.

east 10th street is a low density residential block.

the history of the block is full of drugs, violence, noise and abandonment. it took years for residents to bring the block back life.

unfortunately bar scene wannabes realized they could replace the drug scene with a bar scene (pioneered by the awful Tenth Street "faux" Lounge) and now the street is a student/frat party, tourist trap and dorm.

it is irresponsible for the community board to consider any other liquor licenses for 10th street 1-2 (wine and beer or on premise). the only 10th street corner that does not have a liquor license is a bank. even the theater on the corner of 10th street and first avenue has a wine/beer license.take a walk down the block some night and imaging living amongst the carnival.

since the cb#3 SLA committee is always filled with residents complaining about the bar scene, or trying to prevent another new bar on their various blocks, perhaps it is time for everyone to get together and make a real effort to stop this problem from growing, and to force those in existence to do more then hang out signs asking their patrons to "respect their neighbors".

Hey19 said...

As anyone who reads my comments will attest, I have a pretty high tolerance for gentrification etc, but Affaire really bothers me, whats up w that place?