Neighbors Fight Plans for New East Village Bar
By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo News Editor
EAST VILLAGE — Just call them the plywood patrol.
A group of neighbors upset about noise produced by East Village bars has preemptively come out against a proposed pub that recently unveiled plans to open on Second Avenue.
The East Fifth Street Block Association — which helped lead the charge against the controversial, now closed nightclub Sin Sin — recently met with the new tenant of the boarded-up former restaurant space slated to reopen as an Irish pub at the corner of East 5th Street.
Concerned over the operator's intention to serve booze until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. at weekends, the group immediately went on the offensive, telling neighbors to protest the establishment's bid to secure a liquor license at a community board meeting next week.
"The East Fifth Street Block Association suggested a compromise of 12 a.m. kitchen closing with a 1 a.m. shut-down time, with the caveat that should the operation prove to be an exemplary neighbor, we might consider not opposing extended hours at a later time," the group wrote in an email, noting the bar will be called Coopers.
"We have not heard from the operator and assume that he is proceeding with his application without any signed stipulations with his neighbors. The East Fifth Street Block Association believes that the area is already overburdened with bars, and that we will not have another one on our corner."
The note encouraged opponents to show up en masse at the April 11 meeting of Community Board 3's liquor license committee to help "send the new operator packing" or get him to agree to an earlier closing time.
"The people have been pushed to their limit when it comes to bars," said Stuart Zamsky, a leader of the block association who both lives and runs a business on East 5th Street, near the proposed pub.
"We'll do anything to fight a place that's coming in to operate as a bar."
According to records on file with the community board, the space will have a 21-foot-long bar, 15 tables with seating for 47 people, an enclosed sidewalk café, three televisions and only background music.