Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rudy's Under Attack

The Clinton Chronicle reports that beloved Hell's Kitchen dive bar Rudy's Bar & Grill is under attack by Community Board 4 for serving alcohol in its backyard late into the night.

Saundra Halbertstam and Eliot Camerara report that members of Community Board 4 have "actively worked to shut down and destroy Rudy’s Bar and Grille, a Hell’s Kitchen landmark, in business since 1933."

The writers says these members have "prompted complaints against Rudy’s Bar" and "smeared Rudy’s by sending word through the community that they were operating without proper licenses." So far, Rudy's owners have spent $24,000 defending the bar.

It's a lengthy story--to read the whole piece, pick up a copy of the Clinton Chronicle or read the PDF here. Saundra gave me the upshot in an email: "By closing the backyard, they will force Rudy's to close, since the back represents over 30% of their revenue."

photo: retro roadmap

News of noise complaints against Rudy's goes back to this summer. As DNAInfo reported, Rudy’s management said "those complaining were suburban transplants who don't understand Hell's Kitchen."

“To have somebody come in from suburbia and say that we want to change this neighborhood because they paid an exorbitant amount for a co-op is not fair to the people in the community,” the bar's lawyer, Thomas Purcell, told DNA.

The blog stated, "under Rudy's liquor license, which dates back to 1992 when the current owner Jack Ertl, 88, bought the bar, the venue is allowed to use the backyard space until the wee hours with no restrictions, according to documents and bar management."


James said...

This is what you'd call a dispute, not a moral issue about dear, dear Rudy vs. the soulless suburbanites. The people moving in are indeed paying a fortune to live in Midtown (well, adjacent to it). I once lived in Hell's Kitchen for a five-year run, ending in 1992 - the year Rudy serving drinks outside. It was rough, noisy, polluted, and crowded. But then our entire apartment rent, on a street corner no less, was $1000 a month. You couldn't beat the convenience of the location. Today, the same joint probably goes for $2,800 or more. The "yuppies" only know they've moved in and that they can't sleep with the din from the bar. That we called change. Are people with money wrong for moving into the neighborhood?
What would it cost to cover over the courtyard (even canvas it) - more or less than 30% of the take? What about curtailing the outside hours a bit? This is not just Good v. Bad, but the vagaries of change. Old vendors (now long-parted and departed) on Ninth Avenue used to tell me they never locked their doors in the old days. We did, certainly. Were we living through some tragic result of inevitable change? In their eyes, perhaps so. We only knew this.

Scout said...

It's interesting that you choose to present only Rudy's side of this story. I'd love to hear more about those who have voiced complaints about drunken noise outside their windows late into the night. Do they have children? Are those children being kept awake by loud noise into dawn? Are these children having difficulties in school because of sleep deprivation?

You seem to imply in this post that those complaining are the henchmen or dupes of vicious villains who seek to close down this bar (for whatever reasons, one can only guess). I imagine that the true, difficult, detailed story is much more complex.

In any event, good writing includes presenting both sides of a story; we can rely on Fox news if we want to hear something biased.

Kyle Campion said...

I highly doubt there's any complexity to the story other than the fact that a bunch of privileged people from other parts of the country decided to move into a neighborhood that is known for having a bit of an edge and late night bar scene to it and now want the entire area to cater to their tastes...but don't get it twisted, they "love New York"!

What's next? Presenting the gentrifiers side of the story when they tried to shut down the African drummers in the park in Harlem? Unfortunately,they'll probably win and eventually the bar will close and be replaced with some smoothie shop or green bean smoothie place. Whatever it is, it won't be cheap and it will be utterly lacking in any form of humanity. So yeah, to sum it up - Chloe and Caleb want everybody in their neighborhood to pipe down - the kids are trying to sleep!

Brian said...

Nyc is not a place for a cheap thrill anymore. It is not a bohemian free for all. It is not a hospitable to the riff raff and cheap scammers. Times Square adjacent is no longer about open air sex drugs and alcohol. Times Square of old is gone. If you want it, you are going to have to pay 4 times more for it than anywhere else in the country and keep it indoors. Even a hotdog is going to cost $5, that is, if you can still find a hotdog stand anywhere. So Rudy's just can't outdoor behind the building expand their business anymore without mass scrutiny by every adjacent or semi adjacent neighbor and formally getting every permit/license required. Even the Bowery is no longer a welcimg place to get totally drunk out of your skull in peace.

Brian said...

After actually reading the Clinton Chronicle pdf attachment of the article, I see how Rudy's has a case of harrassment by CB4. It is qiite a tale of runaway government bureaucracy.

Unknown said...

People should check out a neighborhood before they move in, ESPECIALLY if they're paying that much to live there. If I moved in to an apartment behind a school, I wouldn't be complaining about all the noisy kids that flood my neighborhood at 3pm. Because it was already there and I CHOSE to move in. The city is the city. The suburbs are the suburbs. You can't have it both ways.

Bea said...

Even 5 years ago, when I worked down the street from Rudy's at the Chelsea Bar & Grill, Hell's Kitchen was pretty tame when compared to decades past as bar regulars from the neighborhood made sure to remind me. Some changes were welcomed, and, of course, some weren't. You need a mint to rent in those parts now. To echo what others have wrote: if you don't like noisy bars, then don't move in next door to one of 'em.

Scout said...

It would also be good to point out that none of the buildings behind Rudy's are luxury coops or condos; they're almost all old, short, unrenovated tenements - and one church. On the north corner is an unrenovated apartment building from the 50s or 60s. West of that is the sole renovated condo building - the only one near Rudy's.

Of course, facts like this tend to do little more for many people than get in the way of their misplaced rage.

Mary-Beth Shine said...

I agree with the person who posted that people should check out a neighborhood first. Yes it is convenient, but you know, go to the Upper West Side, or move to Park Slope, or another, quieter neighborhood. Hell's Kitchen is filled with bars and restaurants. I could not live there, I love to go there, but to live? To attack this bar and make assumptions that they don't have the correct licenses is snake-like and it's typical of privileged people who can't deal with confrontation or conflict and report anything and everything.

Unknown said...

Interesting twist on NIMBY-ism, but it's his backyard.

Manhattan is slowly, inexorably becoming dull.

To James' "are people with money wrong for moving into the neighborhood?" No, they're wrong for pushing around businesses that have been there for decades.