Welcome to First Word, wherein Eater and its correspondents sit for hours at steamy community board meetings to bring back the first word of new establishments and what they're up to. Your reports from the field always encouraged to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last night, Community Board 3's feared SLA Licensing Committee met to dole out their approvals and denials to upcoming and established restaurants in the East Village and the LES. It was a lengthy meeting (one community member was indeed napping), and we've got a lot to cover here, so let's get to it:
1) Reps for the new restaurant going into the Suba space at 109 Ludlow, now owned by Will and Rob Shamlian of Spitzer's Corner, sought a liquor license for their proposed taqueria. Fearing the spot would just turn into a bar, the committee issued a "deny unless" ruling, making the owners agree to serve food until one hour before closing, provide adequate sound proofing, and designate employee responsible for crowd control.
2) The owners of Bourgeois Pig, which moved across the street from its original location, a license for their Peruvian restaurant called Desnuda in its old space at 122 East 7th Street. The community seemed okay with the situation, approving the ap as long as they close at 2 a.m. and continue to function as a restaurant.
3) The owner of Bruno Jamais failed for a second month in a row to attain a liquor license for a proposed restaurant at 79 Ludlow Street. The application was again incomplete, missing the same information that it was missing before. Two men in pinstriped suits appeared before the committee to give their rehearsed sales pitch, continually referring to Bruno's success at Restaurant Daniel, saying that "Bruno is synonymous with fine dining." Unfortunately the building, which one person called a "blight on the area," still has a stop work order on it. The CB also cited the 30 other licenses in the area as they dealt out a final denial.
4) Ten Bells, the wine bar and tapas spot at 247 Broome Street, sought a renewal to their wine license. Two neighbors spoke out against the bar, citing noise issues. The committee denied Ten Bells unless they close their doors at 1 a.m., relocate their speakers to direct music away from the storefront, create signage to discourage patrons from being loud on the street, and designate an employee to disperse the crowd.
5) Fat Panda aka karaoke spot Planet Rose at 219 Avenue A wishes to expand to the building next door to provide a private room for karaoke. Since the owner's application was incomplete, he withdrew it.
6) Sweet sweet Sonia Rose was seeking an upgrade to a full liquor license for their restaurant on 74 Orchard Street. They cited their $27 prix fixe and their "Community Tuesdays" where neighbors get the prix fixe for free, only paying for beverages and additions. However they withdrew their application when it became apparent they needed more evidence of community support.
7) Cure the new restaurant going into the old Affetati/East Village Pie Lounge space at 131 East 7th Street was approved. They'll serve Italian cured meats and cheeses along with Italian wine.
8) Webster Hall was approved for their liquor license renewal and for their change in the formatting of their three bars (from serving stations to full service bars). One neighbor complained that the venue is a "pariah" in the neighborhood, but others in the group defended WH, citing how many people it employs and community outreach.
9) Stokes, a restaurant and bar resembling a sports bar at 211 Avenue A was denied unless they forgo the use of any outdoor space adjacent to the property.
10) Eat Pisode a new Thai restaurant at 123 Ludlow St. was denied due to over saturation in the area.
11) Sintir, a Moroccan restaurant hoping to open on 424 East 9th Street, met some opposition from nine members of the Block Association. They collected a petition with 109 signatures trying to block the restaurant and cited ads the owners had apparently posted on their MySpace pages advertising upcoming live music performances. After a half an hour struggle, the ap was denied, the owner was in tears.
12) Cafe Khufu a two year old hookah bar and restaurant at 61 East 3rd Street was seeking a liquor license was denied.
13) Heartbreak Cafe, a proposed German/Swiss restaurant at 37 Second Ave. withdrew their application but will probably be back next month to request a beer and wine license.
—Reporting by Bailly Roesch