Tonight, the Liquor Committee of local Community Board 2 will hear an application for the space that held Milady's bar for 81 years.
Sean Sweeney, Director of the SoHo Alliance, writes in to say that "two restaurateurs have approached the SoHo Alliance to notify us that they are applying for a liquor license for a 65-seat restaurant and bar" in the space. But the space has sat empty for so long--two years--it is no longer zoned for bar/restaurant use. Also, writes Sean, "the area is already saturated, with more than its share of licensed premises."
He says, "there are about ten licensed premises already within 500 feet of Milady’s. New York State Liquor Authority laws require that an applicant for a liquor license must demonstrate that providing an additional liquor license would 'serve the public interest' in any area that is already saturated with licensed premises. It is highly unlikely the applicant would be able to demonstrate that."
One of the applicants for the space is Karim Raoul, son of Mr. Raoul, owner of the 40-year-old celebrity hangout Raoul's.
The other applicant is Brian McGrory, a partner in the Highlands Restaurant Group, which has run several popular gastropubs in the city, including Highlands, Whitehall, and Mary Queen of Scots, in addition to Surf Lodge, a trendy late-night hot spot in Montauk that racked up several violations--over $100,000 in fines--for "the business’s site plan, illegal clearing of wetlands, overcrowding and other categories," like noise and parking.
Sean Sweeney is concerned that the bar and restaurant Raoul and McGrory will bring to Milady's space will be another loud and crowded trendy spot to drive the neighbors crazy. He adds, "Although Milady’s was a popular neighborhood bar and kitchen, this new place is not going to be the Return of Milady’s. It will be another late-night, trendy restaurant. Is that what we want?"
If you'd like to tell them what you want, go to the hearing tonight at 6:30 at St. Anthony’s, 151-155 Sullivan Street, Lower Hall.