East Village Bar Heather's Has Liquor License Renewed

By Patrick Hedlund on October 13, 2011 6:46am 

Heather's bar had it liquor license renewed by the State Liquor Authority despite the community board voting against it.
Heather's bar had it liquor license renewed by the State Liquor Authority despite the community board voting against it.
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EAST VILLAGE — Embattled East 13th Street bar Heather's will live to serve another drink.

The popular neighborhood nightspot near Avenue A — whose bid for a liquor license renewal was shot down by the local community board last month — received an extension from the State Liquor Authority this week.

Records show the SLA granted the renewal through Oct. 31, 2013, after Community Board 3 recommended rejecting the license due to ongoing issues with neighbors over noise from customers lingering in front of the space.

Owner Heather Millstone disputed claims by block residents last month that patrons of her six-year-old establishment created “anarchy” on the street, calling herself the “epitome” of a good operator.

She noted Wednesday that Heather's’ clean record with the SLA likely led to the license’s approval.

“Heather's is a pretty tight ship and we operate with a lot of integrity, and yes, having no major infractions against us must be the dominating factor in the SLA renewing our license,” Millstone, 37, wrote in a email.  

“I'm relieved that our record has it's own voice, and that my staff (most have been with me since our inception) continue to be able to make a living, especially in these tough times.”

The news was first reported by EV Grieve.

Heather's came into the spotlight earlier this year during the trial of former NYPD officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, who were captured on the bar’s surveillance cameras returning multiple times to the apartment of a young fashion executive they were accused of raping. Millstone herself took the stand back in April to testify about meeting with the accuser at her bar.

Bartender Melissa Plaut, who’s been working at Heathers for the past two and a half years, called the news “a huge relief.”

“I used to come here before I even worked here,” she said. “I’ve always loved this bar.”

She noted the space’s inclusiveness and appeal to a diverse clientele, which includes many LGBT patrons, as reasons for its importance to the community.

Heather Millstone behind the bar at her namesake East 13th Street establishment.
Heather Millstone behind the bar at her namesake East 13th Street establishment.
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“I don’t think Heather's is a gay bar, I don’t think it’s a straight bar. Heather says it’s an ‘everybody’ bar,” Plaut said. “Heather singlehandedly accomplished that. … It’s like a second home to a lot of people.”

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