It's a big week for controversial SLA hearings. Already The Box and the Mercury Dime had their time in front of Community Board 3, and now we have another sticky hearing tonight. The new owners of the space at 19 Kenmare, who hope to turn it into the restaurant Travertine, will appear before the full CB2 meeting tonight to assess support for their liquor license. The fear is that they will go down the same road as the last three groups that were rejected for the space in the span of only a year.
But don't worry. They have some serious grassroots campaigning behind them. Michael Swier, partner in Bowery Presents—the company that owns The Bowery Ballroom, Music Hall of Williamsburg, The Mercury Lounge, and Terminal 5, and books just about every other venue—sent out a email last night asking everyone on the Bowery Presents email list (and we're guessing that's at least hundreds of recipients) to send a letter of support to chair Raymond Lee and to attend tonight's meeting. The plan could work, given the scope of Swier's influence; however painting the place as a late night hang out for downtown rockers might not be the best way to win over a notoriously crabby community board. To the letter:
I am asking that you please forward the following email to TRAV200008@hotmail.com to help support a new restaurant that plans to open near The Bowery Ballroom. The restaurant, named Travertine, will be located at 19 Kenmare Street (near Elizabeth Street) in part of the space that was occupied by Charlie's Clam House. We want to encourage new, well-managed restaurants to open in the community so that our guests will have a place to eat both before and after shows. The Community Board has requested that Travertine show its widespread community support through letters or by having supporters attend the Community Board meeting tomorrow evening 96 pm at SEIU HQ, 101 Sixth Avenue, 22nd floor, between Canal and Spring Streets). If you are able to attend, the Community Board leadership is merely going to ask supporters of Travertine's liquor license application to stand up or show their hands (this should take no more than an hour).
Following is the email that you can either cut-and-paste or revise and send via email to the email address stated above:
Chair, SLA Committee, Manhattan Community Board 2
3 Washington Square Village, NYC, NY 10012
Dear Mr. Lee,
I am writing to ask you and CB2 to support the application by Travertine (19 Kenmare Street) for a liquor license. I look forward to the opening of a well-managed, quality dining option in my neighborhood. The location has been a restaurant for many years and the owners of Travertine should be allowed to open at this site, create jobs, pay taxes, and improve the neighborhood.
I hope that you will encourage your fellow board members to approve the application on Thursday, September 18.