[45-47 Avenue B file photo]
A restaurant called Lamia's Fish Market is in the works for the long-vacant storefront at 45 Avenue B between Second Street and Third Street.
Lamia Funti, the applicant, appeared before CB3's SLA committee meeting back in April. The application was reportedly denied based in part on the history of the space. (The Lo-Down reported on this here.)
Media outlets have identified Funti as the co-owner of Le Souk on La Guardia Place along with her husband Marcus Jacobs. He was reportedly an owner of Le Souk at 47 Avenue B... Le Souk was a years-long thorn in the side of neighbors, as widely reported here ... and here ... and here ... and here.
In October 2009, the State Liquor Authority cancelled Le Souk's liquor license. (Read the SLA release here.)
According to a neighborhood block association member, Lamia's Fish Market has now applied directly to the New York State Liquor Authority for a beer-wine license. This application is one of many to be heard during an SLA board meeting today at their New York City office, 317 Lenox Ave. at 126th Street. (The block association rep didn't have an exact time for this applicant during the public meeting, only that it will be heard between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
The block association member provided a recap about the applicant(s).
The location is the former Le Souk space, and the principal/proprietor of this new establishment (Lamia Funti) is the wife of Marcus Andrews (formerly, Marcus Jacobs, one of the principals of the old Le Souk along with his brother Sam Jacobs). She is the manager of the current Le Souk, now located on LaGuardia Place in the Village, which Marcus owns. She is proposing a restaurant, not a club/lounge like the old Le Souk or the current business on Laguardia, with only a Beer/Wine license and a 12 am closing every night. This type of license would typically be approved by the SLA without question. However, this situation is unusual and merits special consideration by them.
Even though Ms. Funti was not officially involved with the old Le Souk on Avenue B, she is associated with the Jacob family and their other businesses. At the current Le Souk, which she manages, there have been online reports of fights (involving the owner), a stabbing, plus 311 calls and complaints. Given this background, many involved in the Block Association believe that, even on her own (much less because of her familial affiliations), she does not run the kind of business we want on Avenue B.
You can read CB3's lengthy Recommendation To Deny from the April meeting at the CB3 website here (PDF)
The SLA approved this applicant for a beer-wine license according to someone in attendance. More info as it becomes available.
Going straight to the SLA instead of working with CB3; usually the sign of a nightmare establishment that has no intention of playing by the rules or caring about their neighbors. Ironic first name for the applicant, too:
Lamia - a mythical monster, with the body of a woman or with the head and breasts of a woman and the body of a snake, said to prey on human beings and suck the blood of children.
I still shudder at the name Le Souk. And I only went inside there once.
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