LES Nightclub Agrees to Close Windows and Roof After Complaints
LOWER EAST SIDE — A three-story nightclub that has drawn noise complaints from its neighbors agreed at a contentious meeting Thursday night to close its windows and retractable roof during big parties.
The DL, which opened at 95 Delancey St. at Ludlow Street in February 2012, has infuriated some nearby residents by blasting music at late-night parties, generating more than 20 noise complaints to 311 over the past year.
On Thursday night, the club's owners held their first meeting with the concerned residents, including the group L.E.S. Dwellers, outside of regularly scheduled Community Board 3 meetings.
At the meeting, held on the sticky floor of the DL's second-level lounge a few hours before it would usually be filled of revelers ordering bottle service, both sides struggled to keep their tempers in check, as raised voices alternated with attempts at compromise.
A man who has lived on the Lower East Side for 35 years complained of the bar's reverberating live music and DJs, as well as screaming partiers.
"If I want to listen to music, I have to compete with your noise," said the man, who declined to give his name. "If I have a dinner party, I want to be able to talk to my guests."
Ludlow Street resident Ivan Villegas, 35, said he and other residents have called The DL many times asking them to turn down the noise, to no avail.
"It shouldn't have had to come to this," Villegas said of the meeting.
Paul Seres, a managing partner at the bar, said he has tried to work with residents since he helped makeover the space from the formerly troubled Ludlow Manor a year-and-a-half ago.
"I feel like you guys are on such edge with us," Seres said.
Still, he offered a couple of concessions. While The DL's liquor license allows it to leave its retractable roof and third-floor windows open until 11 p.m. during the week and midnight Thursday through Saturday, Seres agreed to close them earlier when a big party is planned.
"What we can agree to now, whenever we have an event upstairs, we will make sure all the sliding glass windrows will be closed," regardless of the event's time, he said. "As we start getting towards capacity, we will make sure the rooftop is closed."
Seres also promised to add a second pane of glass to the third-floor windows.
But Diem Boyd, a founder of L.E.S. Dwellers and a neighborhood resident for the past 13 years, said she doubted Seres would stick to his oral contract.
"How can we trust a bar that has broken rules in the past?" Boyd said, referring to residents' allegations that The DL had violated stipulations in its liquor license.
Seres denied ever breaking the rules in his license and said the allegations stemmed from a misunderstanding about which version of the license is the most recent.
The State Liquor Authority did not respond to requests for comment.
Seres said he plans to go before CB3's liquor license committee on Monday to put the new concessions he agreed to on Thursday in writing.
"There will obviously be trust issues going forward," Seres said. "We are going to have to prove ourselves to you."