Friday, August 18, 2017
New ownership taking over the Alphabet Lounge space on 7th and C
[Photo from Tuesday night]
New operators are planning to open a bar in the current Alphabet Lounge space on Avenue C at Seventh Street.
CB3's SLA committee approved the application for a new liquor license during their monthly meeting on Monday night.
In an interesting twist, the main applicant, Jennifer Shorr, used to live in the building at 104 Avenue C. She and her fiance, Brian Powell, are planning to open a neighborhood bar in the space. (This is a sale of assets.)
There was a lot of love for the applicants in the room: Four longtime residents of either No. 104 or a nearby building spoke out on their behalf. The residents talked about what a horror show Alphabet Lounge is, and that an approval here would replace a bad, disruptive business with good operators.
However, committee members said that the applicants needed to better articulate their method of operation, which seemed to be "it will be better than what's there now." Said one committee member: "You are asking us to approve something because you're really nice people." (The PDF of their application is here.)
Powell, who said he has served as a consultant on many bar-restaurant openings in NYC and Southampton, most recently owned Grange, an American bistro in Westwood, N.J. (He said they decided not to renew the lease this summer after six years in business.)
The still-unnamed venture will offer a limited food menu, though Powell emphasized that they will be a bar first and not a restaurant. "We're not trying to hide anything," he said. One of the first orders of business will be to remove Alphabet Lounge's ample sound system. Shorr said that they may have an occasional performance featuring acoustic musicians.
In the end, the committee members signed off on the application.