By Gabriela Resto-Montero
NOLITA — A former 19th century carriage house on Mott Street is on its way to becoming a restaurant despite objections by some residents worried that a new night spot will turn their neighborhood into another party-hearty meatpacking district.
The proposed restaurant at 177 Mott Street, named "The Brewster" after the Brewster & Co. carriage factory the building housed in the 1800s, received approval this week from Community Board 2's State Liquor Authority committee for a liquor license.
"I would say, as someone who lives right next door, it would be hell," said Richard Lawrence, a neighborhood resident, at the community board meeting.
The eatery would serve up to 150 people and be located on the building's first floor and basement level.
Lawrence said that while the building's owner, Ross Morgan, had put soundproofing in while renovating the place, it wouldn't protect neighbors in nearby "100-year-old buildings" from the noise of people coming in and out of the restaurant.
But Morgan, who plans on selling the top floors as luxury residences, assured his neighbors that his plans are for a restaurant that celebrates the building's history, not a rowdy night spot like nearby La Esquina and Travertine.
"We're selling a $3 million apartment right above this so it's counter-intuitive to have a scene going on here," said Morgan, who will also live in the building, at the Tuesday meeting.
Several neighbors supported Morgan's plans, citing his work to clean up the street when he first began renovations, and for enlisting The Gramercy Hotel's Rose Bar manager, Frank Roberts, to run the new eatery.
"I've been to Frank's establishment at The Gramercy and I have to say it's like going home," said neighborhood resident Kim Martin, who said the restaurant will add life to the block.
"The place he's associated with now is impeccable," Martin said.
Morgan added that The Brewster will have on-site carbonated water, a biodigestor to compost food slops and a Michelin-rated chef.
"I wanted to get away from the monotony of what you see around and create a new standard," he said.
The full community board will vote on the liquor license on Nov. 18, and then the SLA will make a decision on whether to grant it.