Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Closing the book for now at Short Stories on the Bowery

As of last Thursday, Short Stories, the cocktail lounge-club at 355 Bowery between Third Street and Fourth Street, is closed for a "revamp, renovation, and reorganization." 

Per the door signage...
"We know how much Short Stories means to you, so we are taking the necessary steps to ensure our guests feel comfortable when they step through the door. We are excited to come back to you, better than ever, in Spring 2023." 
Short Stories was on the February CB3-SLA docket for a new liquor license ... the current license expired in late January, though neighbors said the bar continued to serve booze until last week under the previous ownership. 

According to the questionnaire on file at the CB3 website, this is a sale of assets, with new owners from Something Good Hospitality Group taking over. (While the partners have food-hospitality experience, they have yet to own a restaurant.) 

During the meeting on Feb. 21, a handful of residents who live in this building and nearby spoke out against Short Stories (the now-closed version anyway that morphed from a cafe to a club) ... calling out "bad, irresponsible behavior" (drug use, crowded sidewalks, etc.) ... there were numerous complaints about the music (via DJs) going until 4 a.m. (One resident called the volume of the music "horrifying.") 

The new owners quickly distanced themselves from the previous regime, promising a more high-end dining experience (adding a full kitchen)... and bringing in a new staff.

CB3-SLA committee members were looking to stipulate against a nightclub atmosphere. The owners agreed not to have DJs on the premises. However, they wouldn't compromise on an earlier close and insisted on a 2 a.m. time daily for the sake of their late-night food menu that paired with the new cocktail program. (The committee suggested midnight, with a 2 a.m. close on Friday and Saturday. Without stipulations, the committee was concerned that the applicants would go to the State Liquor Authority and get the OK for a 4 a.m. close.)

You can watch a video of the meeting. This applicant starts at the 3:15 mark.

There are also complaints about the curbside dining space ...
Short Stories debuted in February 2019, landing features in Vogue and The New York Times.


Anonymous said...

WHY are curbside dining spaces even discussed anymore? How are they still here? It's insane. Get them out.
This was a pandemic measure and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

the ole we're a cafe then surprise! we are actually a disco! bs line good bye sleep to your sleep whenever we decide to pump it up (which is often) CB3/SLA committee can be so gullible when these operator lie to them like that it's so infuriating CB3/SLA Just Say No!

Anonymous said...

Midnight closing time. Really?

Anonymous said...

@Anon. 1:19PM and others who blame CB#3 - CB#3 is ONLY an ADVISORY committee. They have NO real power, and there is NO WAY they can block an establishment wanting to sell booze from doing so. They can say NO until the cows come home, but it is the STATE SLA that hands out liquor licenses like cheap plastic beads at a Mardi Gras parade, ignoring what the neighborhood wants and needs, overriding their own 500-foot rule on a regular basis, and in general not caring about quality of life because THEY DON'T LIVE HERE. They live in quiet, leafy suburban neighborhoods far from the hells they spawn in the city, but I guarantee you that if it was made law that they live in the neighborhoods they impact, there would be a lot fewer licenses showered upon applicants.

Anonymous said...

It turns out that A. Pandemic not over, and B. Hey, we can use public space for people to gather and safely enjoy outdoors instead of yet more free car storage!