Community Board #2 Is Too Tough On Restaurants in SoHo

I’ve been following the politics between restaurants applying for beer, wine and liquor via State Liquor Authority (SLA) approval in SoHo over the past year, but things have been heating up over the past month.  I wrote about Navy and Once Upon A Tart two times (here and here) and was in attendance at the Community Board 2 meeting this past Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  After witnessing denial after denial after denial of restaurants, I wanted to dig a little deeper.

Community Board

For a little background, I wrote about The Community Board 2 here.  The Community Board 2 website is full of information.  I clicked on the June SLA resolutions and found the following related to approvals/denials of restaurants requesting beer, wine or liquor:

Sant Ambroeus

Saint Ambroeus

  • CB#2, Man. recommends denial for 265 Lafayette Ristorante, LLC, d/b/a Sant Ambroeus, 265 Lafayette St., 10012 on its application seeking an alteration to its existing OP license to add service to a sidewalk café;
  • 38 to 0 in favor

Tropical 128

Tropical 128

  • CB#2, Man. recommends denial for 128 Billiard, Inc. d/b/a Tropical 128 on its application seeking an alteration of its existing method of operation to extend its hours to 4 am and expand into the basement of the premises operating as a night club/cabaret.
  • 36 to 2 in favor

Coriander Factory, Inc / Hop In The Truck

  • CB#2, Man. recommends denial for Coriander Factory, Inc. d/b/a Hop In The Truck, 222 Lafayette St. 10012 on its application seeking a beer and wine license.
  • 38 to 0 in favor

Lorenzo Randisi

  • CB#2, Man. recommends denial of an Beer/Wine license to An Entity in which Lorenzo Randisi is a principal, 151 Mott St. 10013 unless the statements of the applicant as presented to CB2 are accurate and complete, and that those conditions and stipulations agreed to by the applicant relating to the above-stated stipulations are incorporated into the “Method of Operation” on the BW License.
  • 38 to 0 in favor

Miyabi Sushi Japanese Restaurant NY

Miyabi Sushi

  • CB#2, Man. recommends denial of an Beer/Wine license to Miyabi Sushi Japanese Restaurant NY Inc., 118 West 3rd St., 10012 unless the statements of the applicant as presented to CB2 are accurate and complete, and that those conditions and stipulations agreed to by the applicant relating to the above-stated stipulations are incorporated into the “Method of Operation” for a Beer and Wine License.
  • 38 to 0 in favor

Caffe Morini & Enoteca

  • CB#2, Man. recommends denial for OM 216 LLC, d/b/a Caffe Morini & Enoteca on its application seeking a beer and wine license
  • 22 to 14 in favor

Pepe Rosso Cantina

  • CB#2, Man. recommends denial of a beer and wine license to Lets Eat Cantina, d/b/a Pepe Rosso Cantina, 173 Mott St., 10013 unless the statements of the applicant as presented to CB#2, Man. are accurate and complete, and that those conditions and stipulations agreed to by the applicant relating to the above-stated stipulations are incorporated into the “Method of Operation” on the BW License.
  • 38 to 0 in favor

Wine Spot

  • CB#2, Man. recommends denial for Viejo Group LLC, d/b/a Wine Spot, 127 MacDougal St. 10012 on its application seeking an upgrade from tavern wine to full on premises license and alteration to add a full service bar and additional service bar within the premises.
  • 35 to 2 in favor, 1 recusal

You get the idea.  What type of “Community” Board is this?  It doesn’t seem independent or based on any underlying zoning laws or regulations.

In my opinion, there should be a few relevant factors that are taken into consideration after zoning and whether or not the landlord allows restaurants in their buildings:

  • Previous SLA history of restaurant site (re: whether or not a restaurant has operated there)
  • Previous history of restaurant operator (re: prior violations)
  • Community outreach of the neighborhood

I don’t understand how an entire board of 38 members all votes “NO” pretty much unanimously to new restaurants and existing restaurants upgrading their liquor licenses.  It seems like Community Board 2 is part of the reason SoHo has so many clothing stores…there isn’t anything else that can survive the rent!

[GARD]