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Neighbors Blast Canz Over 'Unpleasant Surprise' Opening

By Mary Johnson | October 28, 2011 2:31pm
The restaurant chain has garnered much attention for poaching servers and bartenders from rival chain Hooters.
The restaurant chain has garnered much attention for poaching servers and bartenders from rival chain Hooters.
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DNAinfo/Mary Johnson

MURRAY HILL — Canz a Citi, a new Hooters-style bar and restaurant that opened its Manhattan location last week without a valid liquor license, is already upsetting some of its new neighbors.

“[The opening of Canz] was a very unpleasant surprise,” said Carol Schachter, Community Board 6’s business affairs and street activities committee chair at a Thursday night meeting.

“The board office has reached out to the SLA directly,” Schachter added. “We’re on it.”

The community board is often first place new businesses go to begin the process of applying for a liquor license, seeking the board’s recommendation to the State Liquor Authority, which ultimately makes the decision on whether to grant a license.

But this time around, neither CB6 nor the SLA was given a chance to weigh in.

One resident, who asked not to be named, railed against Canz as “a Hooters-type bar [that] belongs in Times Square."

The board encouraged her to voice her concerns to the NYPD's 13th Precinct.

According to the SLA, there is an active liquor license on file for 380 Third Ave. between East 27th and East 28th streets, but the license is listed under the name of a previous establishment, Choice Kitchen and Cocktails.

There is no record of a license transfer request, nor has the business affiliated with the existing license formally attempted to change its operating name, said SLA spokesman William Crowley.

Crowley said Canz is allowed to remain open and to continue serving alcohol under the venue’s existing liquor license pending the results of the SLA investigation.

In an interview earlier this week, Steven Ferraro, one of the owners of Canz a Citi International, said that there had been “some confusion” regarding the liquor license and that the Third Avenue location had received a visit from the State Liquor Authority.

“All of that is being worked on, but it’s not something that I can give details on,” Ferraro said. “We’re working with them to do what is necessary and what has to be done.”

The SLA declined to specify when its investigation would be complete. Depending on what the agency discovers, Canz could face fines or a possible suspension or revocation of its license.

But Ferraro said previously that he was confident that everything would be sorted out.

“There’s not an issue,” he said. “If it was an issue, we wouldn’t be able to do this and be open.”