Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Residents, Hearth to meet about proposed sidewalk cafe

Hearth, the well-regarded restaurant at 403 E. 12th St. at First Avenue, is applying for a sidewalk cafe during this month's CB3/SLA licensing meeting.

While residents feel as if Hearth is a quality restaurant and a good neighbor, there are concerns about the proposed 38-seat sidewalk cafe. (Residents are also sympathetic to the fact that Hearth's landlord recently hit the restaurant with a 65-percent rent hike.)

So residents and members of the North Avenue A Neighborhood Association are meeting with Hearth reps tomorrow night at 7 to discuss the plans. The meeting is in the office of the East Village Community Coalition, which is located just off the lobby in the Christodora House, 143 Avenue B.

Here's a diagram of the East 12th Street side of the restaurant that Hearth submitted.

[Click on image for a better view]

One Association member said there is already a lot of "pedestrian congestion" in the area around First Avenue and East 12th Street with especially high foot traffic from the L train stop at East 14th Street.

"And now with 160 new apartments scheduled to be built at the corner of East 12th Street and Avenue A, it seems the congestion will only increase," the member said.


Anonymous said...

While the idea of outdoor seating is great, this isn't the best corner for enjoying a leisurely dinner outdoors. It's so congested and loud with all the traffic from First Avenue. They might do better to add more affordable meals to their menu. The place has been here for years, but I only have one friend in the neighborhood who can afford to eat there, and even she can only go occasionally.

BLUE GLASS said...

some restaurants are considerate of their neighbors. some not so much.
noise from customers can drive a resident out of their apartments, especially if the restaurant hours go late into the night. foot traffic is often hindered by the "barriers" and depending on the width of the street sometimes it is impossible to walk down the block, especially if there is sidewalk repair or a tree pit.
i am sorry to see any business forced out by increasing rent and each time the rent goes up so do the prices, making it less and less a neighborhood resource.
we have let our state and city "officials" have blamed each other for their lack of action for over 30(?) years (when Sweet 14 was created and did nothing).

blue glass said...

please ignore careless editing in 9:13 post.

Anonymous said...

It's so sad that it has to come to this. It's actually disgusting.

28yearsEVresident said...

Hearth is an excellent neighbor and a well managed operation. I hope they stay and they get approval for the sidewalk cafe.

Anonymous said...

It's great Hearth are discussing with N. Ave. A folks.
I have a restaurant in my building, and I have made complaints to my landlord about it. They would prefer to see me go, instead of their commercial tenant, So they have been trying to evict me.

marjorie said...

I'm a big Hearth fan. I've only eaten there twice (it IS expensive!) but had amazing meals both times. I subscribe to the occasional newsletter of Paul Grieco, the wine director, who writes the most hilarious, foul-mouthed, unpretentious wine reviews -- so I feel like I'm getting something even if I don't eat there. The chef, Marco Canora, seems like a real mensch -- he did a TON of local charity stuff after Hurricane Sandy, and I know he's done work with local public schools. So while I agree that it's not the most enticing corner for a sidewalk cafe, if there's any fancypants restaurant in the nabe that's earned the right to have outdoor seating (if it wants), it's Hearth.

Anonymous said...

I would caution the folks who think this is okay because Hearth has had no apparent problems with residents. Part of the reason is they have had a fixed façade and no outdoor seating, so any possible disturbance to tenants in the building has been minimal. No matter how big the awning covering the tables, 38 people dining below you will inevitably cause the folks who live above to have to close their windows etc any night this café is in operation. Look at this diagram closely this is not some small café with a few tables this is actually the size of some entire restaurants in the neighborhood. Walking down this street with a stroller, or being in a wheelchair or a walker will be very difficult as part of the sidewalk clearance is going to be over cobblestone covered tree-pits. This proposal really only benefits this restaurant at the expense of residents and the bad feeling it could likely generate has a chance to outweigh anything positive the owner may have done for the community in the past.

2:44 p.m. said...

If I were paying for food and drinks that Hearth is charging, I wouldn't want to be consuming those at sidewalk.

And ditto to 12:45 p.m. Sadly, however, this'll more likely be approved, knowing CB3, who is easily hoodwinked by bread and circus.