Waverly Inn Manager's Plan for Restaurant at Beatrice Inn Clears Liquor Hurdle
By Gabriela Resto-Montero
WEST VILLAGE — Former scenester hot spot The Beatrice Inn may get new life as a restaurant under the helm of Emil Varda, maitre d' and partner of the exclusive Waverly Inn.
The Community Board 2 State Liquor License committee voted to conditionally approve Varda's application for a restaurant at the 285 West 12th Street location Tuesday provided he meets noise and crowd control stipulations.
"We don't want to repeat the Beatrice," said Stephen Piersanti, who lives across the street from the location, of the former tenant's late-night disruptions.
"Rather than having an empty spot, we want to have a restaurant or coffee house," Piersanti said.
At the meeting, Varda said he planned a full-service restaurant, not a bar like many locals feared, with an expert chef whose identity he said he wasn't yet at liberty to disclose.
Through his partnership with Graydon Carter, the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, Varda turned the Waverly Inn at 16 Bank Street into a low-key spot to see and be seen that attracted stars such as Robert De Niro and Gwyneth Paltrow.
But, in a sign that the Waverly had begun to lose its luster, the restaurant started accepting phone reservations and introduced an afternoon tea time in September, according to Zagat.
Varda first went before the board with his plans in October.
The Beatrice Inn, which also attracted the Hollywood set to the West Village, closed down in 2009 after an NYPD raid.
Most recently, Cobi Levy proposed plans to turn the empty location into a Spanish tapas restaurant.